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Ruby Walsh Favourite for Top Festival Jockey Honours


One of the favourite Cheltenham Festival side bets has always been the Thomas Pink Top Jockey Award and it’s notable that punters seem unphased by leading festival jockey Ruby Walsh’s extended absence from the jumps circuit. The Nicholls and Mullins stable rider remains at a nearly odds-on price to dominate this year’s Cheltenham festival despite being out since November due to injury sustained at Down Royal.

Walsh was able to best Pat Taaffe’s record of 25 Cheltenham Festival winners during last year’s iteration and he’ll obviously get a selection of choice mounts presented to him for the 2011 edition. Tony McCoy is sitting on 23 Festival winners and he is definitely in the mix for top jock honours this year as well with punters pricing him as the 6/1 third favourite behind 3/1 Barry Geraghty.

The question remains whether Walsh won’t be in his best nick as he’ll have roughly three weeks of race-riding to get himself back to his usual form. It seems obvious to many National Hunt observers that Walsh will be under extra pressure after returning to the game after such a lay-off.

Walsh has bounced back from injury in the past and the wagering markets confirm that punters have nothing but confidence in the Irishman’s ability to deliver from the moment they hear the Cheltenham roar.

Robert Thornton can be backed at 12/1 while Richard Johnson is abailable at a 16/1 price ahead of Paul Townsend and Jason Maguire at 20/1. The outsiders Paddy Brennan, Paul Carberry, Timmy Murphy and Tom Scudamore can all be backed at 33/1. 

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