High Desert (nearside) is narrowly ahead of Champagne Agent
©Healy Racing Photos
By Thomas Weekes
Seven pounds claimer Gareth Malone claimed a notable scalp in Ruby Walsh when getting the better of the multiple Champion Jockey on High Desert in the Christmas Party Race Day On 15th December At Fairyhouse Maiden Hurdle at Fairyhouse today.
Malone produced High Desert to dispute the lead, alongside Walsh's mount Champagne Agent entering the straight, and while High Desert was untidy at the second last, a better jump at the final obstacle helped him to the front.
Malone kept the son of Next Desert up to his work on the run-in to eventually record a length and a half win over Champagne Agent.
Winning trainer Arthur Moore subsequently stated “High Desert is a hard horse to keep right - he's a bit delicate and needs to run fresh.
“He'll go back chasing now and I was hoping we might get a hurdle win out of him before he went back over fences. We'll bring him out again around Christmas – Gareth gave him a good ride and didn't lose his cool.”
Malone, a nephew of former jockey and Turf Club official Pat Malone, was registering his fourth winner.
Further reporting by Alan Magee