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Ruby Walsh: Footpad will have to step up whichever route chosen for him

Sun 18 Mar 2018

Ruby Walsh expects to discover on Wednesday how long he will be out of action for following his latest injury setback.

The legendary Irish jockey recovered from a broken leg just in time for the Cheltenham Festival, squeezing in two rides before the meeting kicked off.

He enjoyed two winners on the opening day of the showpiece fixture aboard Footpad and Benie Des Dieux, but fell from Al Boum Photo in the RSA Insurance Chase the following day and had to sit out the rest of the week after aggravating the leg he had broken in November.

"It's in plaster of Paris and I won't know until Wednesday how little or how much damage I have done," Walsh said on the Luck On Sunday programme.

"Hopefully I won't be out for too long but obviously there's a chance it could take a while, but I'll know more in the middle of next week.

"I don't feel too bad. There's a lot of snow around here so I won't be going too far today anyway."

The undoubted highlight of his brief Festival was winning the Arkle on Willie Mullins' Footpad and like everyone else, Walsh was impressed.

"How high he can go nobody knows. I suppose the time figure is down to the strong pace we went," said Walsh.

"There's talk he could end up a stayer but he's got a lot of speed. In saying that he did win over two and a half miles in France, so stamina shouldn't be an issue.

"Bar the first (fence) down the back, all his jumping this season has been impeccable, he has a good cruising speed, a turn of foot and he has a lot of things going for him.

"Wherever he goes next year he'll have to step up as he'll be taking on Altior and Douvan or Might Bite and Native River."

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