Racing: Walsh skill hailed after Becher win

Paul Nicholls heaped praise on his stable jockey Ruby Walsh after the Irishman made almost all of the running on Silver Birch to take the Becher Chase at Aintree yesterday.

Paul Nicholls heaped praise on his stable jockey Ruby Walsh after the Irishman made almost all of the running on Silver Birch to take the Becher Chase at Aintree yesterday.

"Ruby gave him a brilliant ride. He's a great jockey and such an asset to our team," Nicholls said. "We've had a great weekend. Ruby was struggling yesterday after having an injury on Friday. He did amazingly well to ride yesterday."

Walsh and Nicholls were capping off a rewarding weekend after teaming up to win Saturday's Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon with Le Roi Miguel, while the Ditcheat handler also lifted yesterday's Sussex National at Plumpton with French Executive.

"When Ruby got off Silver Birch at Newton Abbot [on 3 November] he said this was just the horse for Aintree, so that's why we're here," said the trainer, who remarked that the Grand National would be considered for the horse - though at present he was unlikely to get in the weights.

Walsh took up a clear lead on the 4-1 favourite after early leader Ardent Scout crashed out at the ninth fence, and then produced a superb round of jumping to hold a late rally by 33-1 outsider Just In Debt. "When we got to the elbow I still had something to pick up and go with and he stuck his neck out for me," Walsh said. "But he'll definitely benefit from nicer ground," the jockey added. Silver Birch was cut to as low as 20-1 with William Hill and Ladbrokes for the 2005 National. The Tote offered 33-1.

Smarty, the 2001 Grand National runner-up, was back in third, while this year's National winner, Amberleigh House, was just touched off for fourth place in a photo-finish with Double Honour.

"I am very satisfied," said Ginger McCain, Amberleigh House's trainer. "Graham [Lee] said it was not the weight that beat him but the ground. I don't have to tell you that this is a very, very good Liverpool horse. He never made a semblance of a mistake."

Timmy Murphy and Martin Pipe's flourishing partnership continued when Over The Creek, the 7-4 favourite, followed up on last week's Cheltenham success when taking the Stanleybet Children In Need Handicap Hurdle. Murphy steered the five-year-old wide around much of the course in search of better ground and Over The Creek finished three lengths clear of Billyvoddan.

Christopher, ridden by Carl Llewellyn, rallied on the run-in to land the spoils by four lengths in the Weatherbys Insurance Handicap Chase.

Mark Bradburne, who resumed race riding only this week after a 15-week shoulder injury, took a crashing fall on the leader Kadoun four fences from home. The rider was catapulted out of the saddle and, as he hit the deck, Glenfarclas Boy appeared to run into him.

The luckless jockey was knocked out, but he regained consciousness on the way to a Liverpool hospital where he was detained for observation last night.

* Bookmakers slashed the odds of Le Roi Miguel for the King George VI Chase after Nicholls confirmed him an intended runner yesterday. The six-year-old fell in the Christmas feature at Kempton Park last season but showed he will be a different proposition this Boxing Day when winning the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon by 20 lengths. "I was very pleased with him yesterday. He's A1 today and we're going for the King George with him now," Nicholls told BBC Sport. William Hill made Le Roi Miguel a 6-1 chance (from 14-1). The Tote went 8-1 (from 14-1).

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
news
News
people
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
books...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Sport
Jose Mourinho on Sky Sports
footballEXCLUSIVE COLUMN Paul Scholes: It was not a leg-breaking tackle, as the Chelsea manager had claimed
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Brand Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Do you wish to be part of an exciting journey ...

Guru Careers: Talent Manager

£30-35k (P/T - Pro Rata) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienc...

Recruitment Genius: Print / Warehouse Operative

£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join ...

Beverley James: Accounts Assistant

£23,000: Beverley James: Are you looking to join a finance team shrouded in th...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower