Walsh a great 1/1 bet to be leading Festival jockey

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Ruby Walsh is in line to make his eagerly awaited return to the saddle ahead of the Cheltenham Festival after continuing to make good progress from a broken leg.

Walsh is 1/1 in the Cheltenham Festival betting to finish the four-day meeting with the most winners and has a fine book of rides including Master Minded, Big Buck’s and Kauto Star.

Meanwhile, this could also be a good price as he has finished top jockey at each of the last three Festivals, and five times in the last seven years.

However, Walsh’s appearance at Cheltenham was thought to be in jeopardy as it has taken him longer than initially expected to recover from a double fracture of his right leg.

After picking up the injury in early November, it was predicted that Paul Nicholls’ stable jockey would be ready to return by the start of February.

Although this prediction has not materialised, Walsh remains optimistic that he will be back early enough to get race-fit ahead of the Cheltenham Festival, which begins on March 15th.

Walsh told the Racing Post: “Things are going well. I went back for another check-up on my leg and my doctor is very happy with the way it’s progressing.

“I’m really looking forward to getting back race-riding, and if things continue to go well I would expect to be back in action before the end of the month.”

Walsh’s partnership with leading Irish trainer Willie Mullins, alongside his association with Nicholls, will also ensure that he has plenty of promising rides at the Cheltenham Festival.

Another candidate to be top Cheltenham Festival jockey is last year’s Grand National winner Tony McCoy and he can be backed in this betting market at 6/1.

A £25 stake on McCoy riding the most winners at the Cheltenham Festival would return £150. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.