It took longer than expected to have Ruby Walsh back into the racecourse game. Upon his return today at Thurles, the champ admitted he would have loved to wait for the Cheltenham festival which is to come up next week before racing. With over three months outside the game, Walsh has been recovering from a fatal fall at Punchestown in November. He is so optimistic that the long stay of the game would not be a determinant when he comes back fully.

The 38-year-old said, he would not have ridden at all if he had the choice not to. He stated categorically that it would not have bothered him if he did not get to race. To him, it was no difference in participating in three races and not participating at all. He compared three races to thirty. He further said, “Being a jockey is more of being a tactician since a race is just about seven minutes. It involves a mental sharpness. Even though a fresh mind is not so much as different from a stale mind, this you’d find out just like you did the last time I came back in from the sideline, I had not done much riding then too.”

Sometimes around the 2011 festival, Walsh returned from a very similar injury break and went on to score a treble on the first day before he was crowned the top jockey for the meeting with five winners. He most likely is nurturing very similar aspiration towards next week even though there are difficult choices to be made all in the hopes to increase his festival tally of 56.

His sole ride today– Lareena in the Thurles, i.e., Mariden Hurdle- would give him a better chance of scoring for Mullins. “I am back to work; I am excited to be back. Awayinthewest will be difficult to win, but we all have to start from somewhere. Lareena is a very handy and little mare, I believe she is going to get around a little more, and I can then move on to Leopardstown Friday and next to Naas of Gowran on Saturday,” he said.

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