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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 October, 2003, 19:41 GMT
Ruby Walsh
Ruby Walsh
Date of birth: 14 May 1979
Place of birth: Co Kildare
Main trainers: Willie Mullins, Ted Walsh and Paul Nicholls
2002-03 wins: 82 (Ire)
2001-02 wins: 84 (Ire)
2000-01 wins: 85 (Ire)
1999-20 wins: 24 (Ire)
Rupert 'Ruby' Walsh is many people's idea of the next pretender to Tony McCoy's throne.

He has a big-race pedigree and temperament and is clocking up an impressive list of winners.

Despite the grey flecks in his hair, the Irishman is still only 24, and his growing number of successes on both sides of the Irish Sea means McCoy is already looking over his shoulder.

And to help his progress, Walsh is racing more and more in Britain, having set up a formal association with Paul Nicholls, and passed 50 winners in Britain for the first time last season.

Walsh's father is the trainer and loquacious TV pundit Ted Walsh and at 18, son emulated father in winning the Irish amateur title before turning professional.

In his debut season of 1998-99, Ruby coasted to the Irish championship with 96 winners.

But for injuries - a broken collarbone and a twice-broken leg - another title would have been his the following year, but he made amends in 2001 when he rode 84 winners to land the championship.

He served notice of his talent to the British public when he landed the 2000 Grand National on Papillon, trained by his father.

His record in Aintree's big race is impressive, with two fourth places in subsequent years.

And Nationals in general have proved productive races for Walsh, as he won the 2000 Irish National on Commanche Court, whom he also partnered to second place in the 2002 Cheltenham Gold Cup.

He also won the 2002 Scottish National on Take Control, part of a four-timer that day, and ironically a spare ride which McCoy had rejected.




NATIONAL HUNT 2003-04

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