Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby…
Because I’m actually at Cheltenham, I can’t watch the Channel 4 Racing coverage, but I’ll have a pretty hefty bet that the Kaiser Chiefs are coining in the royalties this week. Their song Ruby is a firm TV favourite whenever Ruby Walsh rides a winner, and he’s unstoppable right now.
I’m writing this between the fifth and sixth races on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival, and he has won four out of the last six races run. The last yesterday, the second, third and fourth today. And he couldn’t ride in the first because the National Hunt Chase is for amateurs. With Kauto Star just one of his rides left to come, he looks a certainty to beat the record of five winners ridden by a jockey at the festival.
But the first race was the only one won by a British jockey so far — three cheers for Sam Waley-Cohen. He kept his head and rode intelligently to win on Tricky Trickster for Nigel Twiston-Davies. Judged sheerly on big-race winners — not numbers — Sam must be the most successful amateur riding. He’s got two Aintree Foxhunters, a Topham Chase and two Cheltenham Festival prizes under his belt — he also won the Mildmay of Flete Chase in 2005 on Liberthine. Form an orderly queue, ladies.
Best training performance: David Pipe, for managing to get Well Chief back on the track and fit enough to run second to Master Minded in the Champion Chase after two years off with injury. Well Chief was one of the hallowed trio of two-mile chasers a few years ago with Moscow Flyer and Azertyuiop, and it’s great to see him back.
Best dressed ladies: Georgina Browne, Paul Nicholls’ partner, and Sophie Longsden, wife of trainer Charlie.
Celebrity spot: one of the actors from Mistresses (no idea which one). Does Nick Skelton count?
They’ve seen it all before: Harvey Smith and Mike Tucker talking earnestly in the parade ring. Things aren’t like they used to be when they were riding…
Most painful-looking fall: Nina Carberry’s in the first. Parsons Pistol gave her a good kicking as he got up, but she looked fine in the parade ring with boyfriend Ted Walsh jnr later.
Most tempting food: the waffle stand. And that’s where I’m going now.