Racing UK

Ruby Walsh

McCoy news was a shock but not a surprise

9 February 2015

I heard him moot retirement earlier in the year, but I didn’t believe he actually would do it. It was a shock, but not a surprise. 

He is a brilliant jockey. It is incredible the amount of winners he has ridden. He has done nothing but enhance racing, and is a great ambassador for the sport. He is a thorough gentleman as well.

It is never going to be easy to make that decision. It is something he loves. When is the right time to retire? In his mind it is the right time and now that he has made the hard decision this will be it, I’m afraid. If AP makes a decision he doesn’t change his mind.

He has set standards and targets that will be there for a long time. To say, “yep, I rode with him, and I beat him on the odd time too,” it is a privilege.

I remember the ones I lost more than the ones I won. I have enjoyed every day of it. He was so good I will definitely miss riding against him. He is most definitely going out at the top.

The Hennessy:

You can’t get away from Carlingford Lough’s Hennessy win at Leopardstown. He made a bad mistake at the second last, but quickened away after the last. He and Foxrock pulled away from Lord Windermere who was much better than at Christmas. I think he took a step in the right direction.

It was a career best for dad’s Foxrock. He was happy, but disappointed to get beaten. Foxrock is only a seven-year-old and is still improving. I know the winner is a nine-year-old, but he is a lightly-raced one. I think they are both going in the right direction.

On His Own, who was sixth, never took me along at all and he was bone-idle in front. I couldn’t get him to go any faster. I think the cut and thrust of the Gold Cup will suit him much better as there looks to be a few front-runners in the race.

Nichols Canyon:

Nichols Canyon won the Deloitte Novice Hurdle, which rode a good race. They went a good gallop and he was keen enough, but he jumped super and he quickened up well and saw out the trip.

We thought Alvisio Ville would be hard to beat, but he beat him, and it was a good performance.

Which race he will run in at the festival, I don’t know but Graham Wylie also owns Shaneshill and Black Hercules so a discussion has to be had about where they all have the best chance of winning.

I think Nichols Canyon is likely to be over two miles to two and half – he stayed well on Sunday but I can’t see three miles.

Others:

Kalkir didn’t put up a bad display in the juvenile hurdle but was beaten by Petite Parisienne giving her weight.

The winner was good and she stayed really well. She has improved from her first run and Kalkir has definitely improved since Christmas.

She was good on the Flat and has a great attitude and is going in the right direction. Whether she is good enough to beat the English I don’t know.

Apache Stronghold’s win in the novice chase looks strong form. It was a deep field and they went a really good gallop.

Things didn’t go right for him when beaten by Valseur Lido in the Drinmore in November, and then he was outstayed by Don Poli over three miles in the Topaz at Leopardstown in December.

It was a good performance from Apache Stronghold and Valseur Lido, and they were five clear of Adriana Des Mottes.

The 2m5f trip of the JLT Novices’ Chase at the festival looks perfect for him.

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