Ruby Walsh enjoyed another successful day at Cheltenham on Tuesday.
Five months after breaking his leg, the Irish jockey was back doing what he does best in Pretsbury Park.
Getabird disappointed under the 38-year-old in the Supreme Novices’, but Footpad did no such thing. Simon Munir’s eight-year-old was a class apart in the Arkle Chase, obliterating his rivals in a foot-perfect display, coasting to victory at his and Ruby’s ease.
That would be Ruby’s 57th win in Cheltenham Festival history. It would be his 17th festival in a row to ride a winner.
He wasn’t done there, though. It is often said that the safest tactic of all in Cheltenham is to back Ruby and Willie Mullins exclusively. Any punter who followed those tactics on the opening day of the 2018 festival wouldn’t have gone too far astray.
Walsh and Mullins pulled off a big shock in the Mares’ Hurdle, with their 9/2 shot Benie Des Dieux powering up the home straight to condemn red-hot favourite Apple’s Jade to defeat, and in turn, hosts of punters to crushing losses of accumulators and doubles and trebles.
The result of the race will still stand, but Ruby has been issued with a two-day suspension for his excessive use of the whip up the run in.
You can watch the highlights of that race here via Racing UK. It appears that Ruby used his whip on the horse eight times after clearing the final flight.
Benie Des Dieux completes a double for Ruby Walsh and provides Willie Mullins with his ninth success in the Mares’…