Mark Walsh Steps In For Coral Cup Triump

Wed 14th Mar 2018, 15:24

Bleu Berry (yellow cap) jumps the last
©Healy Racing Photos
Mark Walsh was a late replacement on the Willie Mullins-trained Bleu Berry and he produced his mount perfectly to beat Topofthegame in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham.

The 20-1 winner was supposed to be ridden by Paul Townend, but he switched to Max Dynamite following Ruby Walsh's injury in the preceding RSA Insurance Novices' Chase.

Walsh came from the rear of the field to deny Sam Twiston-Davies on the giant Topofthegame in the final few strides.

Gordon Elliott's Barra was another who made late headway to claim third, while William Henry, sent off the 8-1 joint-favourite along with Max Dynamite, was fourth in the hands of teenager James Bowen.

Walsh, who was claiming a first Cheltenham winner, said: "You don't want to ride a winner like that and Paul would have rode him before getting on Ruby's horse, but I'm just delighted to be called up by Willie to ride him.

"They went a nice gallop and everything went to plan.

"We got the splits, he winged the last, and had enough petrol in the tank."

Successful owner Luke McMahon said: "Fair play to Mark Walsh, he gave him a brilliant ride.

"We've always liked him (Bleu Berry) but he just had a few interruptions at the start of the season.

"It's fantastic."

Walsh taken to hospital with suspected broken leg

Ruby Walsh was taken to hospital for X-rays on a suspected broken leg following a heavy fall during the second race on day two of the Cheltenham Festival.