Walsh Upsets The Odds By Siding With Mullins’ On His Own
When it was revealed that the long-time ante-post favourite for the John Smith’s Grand National, Prince de Beauchene, would not make the starting line-up after suffering a training setback less than two weeks before the great race, some bookmakers went odds-on that Ruby Walsh would switch to ride his father’s Seabass in preference to the other well fancied Mullins runner, On His Own – but they were proved completely wrong, writes Elliot Slater.
Anticipation is building ahead of the famous Aintree meeting, with punters betting on Grand National horses keenly looking out for their respective rides and any clues it may reveal with regards to any potential success. With the Ted Walsh-trained Seabass having completed a stunning even-timer and seemingly still on the upgrade, many firms assumed that Ruby would stick with the family firm and bid to replicate his success for his father on the well backed Papillon in the 2000 renewal of 'the world’s greatest steeplechase', but after much soul-searching the hugely popular Irish jockey has decided to desert his dad’s horse and side instead with On His Own, a fine winner at Gowran Park in January of the Thyestes Chase, who has been given a nice break since then to be as fresh as possible for the daunting Aintree challenge.
It might also be the case that Walsh feels some loyalty to owner Graham Wylie, whose Prince de Beauchene he had originally planned to ride, and with On His Own also owned by the self-made multi-millionaire, there could well have been a 'Wylie factor' in Walsh's final decision. What his choice does mean is that Walsh’s sister Katie will almost certainly ride Seabass, giving her a serious chance of getting involved in the finish and potentially becoming the first female rider in history to lift the world famous sporting prize.
On His Own has been slashed from 20/1 to a general 14/1 on the news that Ruby will ride, though those odds mean he is still worth using your Grand National free bet on, while Seabass remains solid at best odds of 16/1.