It was a day where the great Ruby Walsh announced his retirement from the sport as jockey with immediate effect. After Kemboy produced a spectacular round of jumping to account for Cheltenham Gold Cup winner and stable mate Al Boum Photo Walsh waved good bye to the Punchestown crowd of over 18,000.
Walsh said “I was going to go out when I won a big one”. The Kill native continued “After Min was beaten yesterday I knew I had Kemboy, Bapaume, Melon and Benie Des Dieux to come, I’m not a poker player and when Kemboy won I wasn’t going to roll the dice again”. Walsh continued “It has always been about big races and I said when I won a big one I would walk away”. Walsh who is the father of trainer and former jockey Ted and sister of Katie Walsh said that his mind as made up last summer that he was going to retire. He said he was looking forward to the day of retiring and when his mind was made up it was made up. Walsh said he lived the dream and was lucky to be able to do what he has done. He said “In terms of my career I didn’t dream or foresee what has happened to me, do I feel lucky, yes I do and I’m lucky I am walking away in one piece”. Willie Mullins had kind words also to say about the 12 times Champion jockeys race on Kemboy. The Carlow based trainer said “I think it was an awesome performance from both horse and jockey”.
The card began with an English winner Musical Slave for Philip Hobbs. Jonjo O’Neill was the man on board in the silks of JP McManus who incidentally sponsored the race. The jockey said “I was cursing all the way around because the gallop didn’t suit me, but to be fair he travelled well and as soon as I pulled him out he winged the last and landed the running. JP had also a winner in the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel Hurdle, with Elimay with Mark Walsh on board. Trainer Willie Mullins said “Charlie Swan bought here in France as a chasing type, as she jumps so well”. He continued, She could go chasing next season, although there are more hurdles races to be won”.
Zero Ten teamed won the Connollys Red Mills Irish IBF Auction Hurdle Series Final with David Mullins on board for Emmet Mullins. Zero Ten brushed aside the opposition to go on and win by 5 lengths over The Big Dog. Emmet Mullins said “This was a great pot to win and this series will be a great help to the middle market at the sales”.
Henry De Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore teamed up with Minella Indo a 5/1 shot. Minella Indo incidentally won at Cheltenham in March in the Albert Bartlett. Owner of the horse Barry Maloney said “We are absolutely delighted, we knew he was a good horse”. He continued, “This racecourse was a favourite place for our dad who grew up in this area, so we love coming to Punchestown and to win here is just as good as winning at Cheltenham”.
Nico De Boinville got his first winner in Ireland aboard O O Seven for Nicky Henderson at odds of 16/1. It was the 100,000 Guinness Handicap chase. He edged out LiveLoveLaugh and Sizing Granite. De Boinville said “That’s my first winner in Ireland and I am absolutely over the moon, we are suppossed to be on our holidays but you wouldn’t miss this for world”.
Jamie Codd took the Racing Post App Champion I.N.H Flat Race for the Conyyngham Cup. The Wexford man made most of the running aboard Colreevy a 4/1 shot to account for Gigginstown House Studs Abacadabras by just a length. The final race on Wednesday’s card went the way of Derek O’Connor for JP McManus, the owners third win of the day. Gypsy Island trained by Peter Fahey accounted for the Gordon Elliott trained Daylight Katie by around 5 lengths.
On to Thursday now with 8 races down for decision with the first race off at 3.40pm. Horses like Defi Du Seuil, Bapaume and Josies Orders all are racing.