• Horse Racing

Walsh commits to Hurricane Fly

ESPN staff
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Hurricane Fly will be ridden by Ruby Walsh at Cheltenham © PA Photos
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Ruby Walsh has confirmed he will ride Hurricane Fly in next month's Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Walsh has the pick of the Willie Mullins and Paul Nicholls horses and his choice was between 2011 Champion Hurdle victor Hurricane Fly and Nicholls' Zarkandar.

Given the level of form Hurricane Fly has shown in the past and with his two wins this term proving his well-being it was always likely Walsh would opt for the Mullins star and that has proved correct.

Walsh could have ridden Zarkandar at Wincanton on Saturday, but Nicholls wanted his big-race partner in the saddle - which means Daryl Jacob will be in the plate at Cheltenham.

"I am definitely going to partner Hurricane Fly in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham next month," Walsh wrote in his column in the Irish Examiner.

"The alternative was obviously Zarkandar for Paul Nicholls. That horse heads to the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton today and earlier this week Paul asked me which one of them I intended to ride at the festival.

"He posed a straight question and I gave him a straight answer - Hurricane Fly.

"It is getting quite close to Cheltenham now and Paul needed certainty. As a result Daryl Jacob will be aboard Zarkandar this afternoon and that is perfectly understandable."

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