Ruby Walsh was back in action at Paul Nicholl’s Ditcheat training ground this morning, when himself, Nick Schofield and Harry Skelton schooled a number of Cheltenham hopefuls.
All the horses began by jumping 5 fences going left handed, then turned around and came back and jumped the obstacles right handed.
Ruby was on board former dual Gold Cup winner, Kauto Star in the first lot of the day. The horse looked in great shape as he jumped nicely and showed himself to be in good form ahead of net month’s Cheltenham showpiece. Nick Schofield followed aboard Arkle favourite, Ghizao. The latter has two Cheltenham course wins to his credit already in his career and must have every chance in the 2mile novices event on the opening day this year.
Master Minded was next up for Ruby and the former Champion Chaser looked on good terms with himself. Nicholls seems to have the chaser back to his best this season and he will be keen to take his crown back from Big Zeb when they clash two weeks on Wednesday.
Robin Collonges, under Nick Schofield worked with Master Minded. While he has been lightly raced since coming from France, h holds just the one Cheltenham entry, in the Jewson Chase, and his trainer has been tipping him up as a surprise package.
Poquelin(Harry Skelton) and Sam Winner(Ruby Walsh) were the final pair to strut their stuff. The former is currently favourite for the Ryanair Chase, while the latter had at one time been Triumph Hurdle market leader. Although he was beaten at Chepstow in January he could still be a serious contender back on faster ground.
Video courtesy of Dan Skelton and www.betfair.com