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Horse Racing

Ruby Walsh Warm Favourite To Be Top Jockey At Cheltenham Festival

Thursday 10th February 2011

The Cheltenham Festival is fast approaching and there is no surprise to see that Ruby Walsh is the warm favourite to be crowned top jockey at the Festival for the third successive time. Walsh has been on the sidelines with a broken leg since November but is expected to be back by the end of February ready to take his pick of rides from both Willie Mullins and Paul Nicholls at Cheltenham. Walsh has been dominant in recent years because of that backing from both sides of the Irish Sea and few would bet against him adding to his already impressive haul of 27 Cheltenham Festival winners. Walsh can look forward to rides on the likes of the Master Minded, Big Buck's and Hurricane Fly among many others which is why he is as short as 11/10 with Ladbrokes to pick up the coveted Thomas Pink Award for the sixth time.

Walsh has a great record at Cheltenham and it is easy to see why he is such a clear favourite in the Cheltenham Festival Top Jockey Odds but there is one or two in behind him who should be given some serious consideration. The most obvious of the other contenders is Barry Geraghty who is used regularly by Nicky Henderson and is expected to have more than his fair share of good rides at the Cheltenham Festival this season. Geraghty should be taking the leg up on the likes of Big Zeb in the Champion Chase and Oscar Whisky in the Champion Hurdle among others so could have a big week at Cheltenham as the odds suggest. It would of course also be foolish to ignore the claims of A P McCoy in the market is as he is likely to have some good chances during the Festival. McCoy may not have the volume of class rides as the likes of Walsh or Geraghty but he will be on board the likes of Binocular and the exciting Backspin among others so at around 6/1 he may prove to be good value in this market.

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