Ruby targets 2,500 winners at Gowran Park

Ten-time Irish Champion National Hunt Jockey, Ruby Walsh is on course to ride his 2,500th winner at Gowran Park's flagship Goffs Thyestes Chase Day today (Thursday).

Currently at 2,498 winners, Ruby looks set to ride the first two favourites at the County Kilkenny track this afternoon. He partners the Willie Mullins-trained Footpad in the first and Au Quart De Tour in the second race.

Walsh also looks to have a good chance on Briar Hill in the John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle and Ballycasey in the featured Goffs Thyestes Handicap Chase.

Trained by his father Ted, Siren Song gave the then amateur jockey his first winner in Ireland at the same track on the 15th July 1995.

Of his 2,498 winners, Ruby has won most of the major National Hunt races around the world. Of his list, 1736 of those winners were in Ireland, 754 in Britain, one in Japan, one in Australia and six in France - 106 of his Irish winners were at Grade One level.

Gowran Park Racecourse will donate €5 from all full-priced admissions to today's meeting to Irish Injured Jockeys.

More 8,000 racegoers and many of the stars of Irish National Hunt racing will descend on Gowran Park for another thrilling renewal of this prestigious race.

The Thyestes Chase has been long-established as one of the highlights of the Irish National Hunt racing calendar and a key guide to the English and Irish Grand Nationals, with stars such as Hedgehunter and Numbersixvalverde completing the big race double.

In more recent times, the Goffs Thyestes Chase has become a trial for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, with the last two Goffs Thyestes winners, On His Own and Djakadam finishing runner-up in the big race.

“In 2015, Gowran Park was given a stark reminder of how dangerous our sport can be with an incident involving Robbie Power and Bryan Cooper, witnessed by all in attendance and thousands more on television and social media,” said Eddie Scally, manager of Gowran Park Racecourse.

“Thankfully nobody was seriously injured and everyone walked away safely. With that still fresh in all our minds, we have decided to make a meaningful contribution to Irish Injured Jockeys on what is our biggest day - Goffs Thyestes Day 2016.

“We at Gowran appreciate the risks taken by jockeys on a daily basis and recognise the dangers associated with our sport.

“The South-East is steeped in horse racing tradition and as Thyestes Day is seen as the main day for racing in our region, we feel this day is the ideal platform for both us and our loyal racing public to show our support for The Injured Jockeys Fund and our jockeys in general.”

Racing begins at Gowran Park at 12.55pm.