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Ruby Walsh even caught Willie Mullins "on the hop"

Raf Diallo
Raf Diallo

19:43 1 May 2019

You might have thought Willie Mullins had an inkling Ruby Walsh would retire.

But the legendary trainer was as caught off guard as anyone today after Walsh's announcement after winning at Punchestown on Kemboy.

Mullins joined us on the line minutes after Walsh revealed his decision and revealed how surprised he had been.

"Even I'm surprised. Ruby caught me on the hop," said Mullins.

"I'm finished"

"He got off the horse. I said, 'Well done' and he said, 'You'd better find a rider for Livelovelaugh later'. And I was wondering was he dehydrated or something and couldn't race for the rest of the day.

"And then he said, 'I'm finished'.  Then it dawned on me that he'd just announced his retirement. What a surprise to me anyway. We don't discuss the 'R' word in our house for either man or beast and it caught me on the hop completely.

"But I'm delighted to see him going out on his own terms. And it's the end of an era and I'm just delighted to be part of the Ruby Walsh riding career. It's just the complete end of an era."

Mullins added that the most special thing was Walsh called time on his career at his local track and surrounded by family.

"And to ride the biggest winner of the week, you couldn't get much better than that. So he picked his moment," he said.


Willie Mullins also added that he might have expected a retirement after a winner at Aintree.

"When that didn't happen, I thought he'd ride another season," he said.

Mullins also shared his thoughts on what Walsh may choose to do in the next chapter of his life.

Watch the full chat with him above.

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Horse Racing Off The Ball Retirement Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins

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