Mark Walsh

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Welcome to our profile of Irish Gold Cup and Cheltenham Champion Hurdle winning rider Mark Walsh.

We look at his current rides, big wins, history and more.

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Mark Walsh Booked Rides

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Mark Walsh Recent Form

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Key Stats about Mark Walsh

Jockey Profile of Mark Walsh

Champion Hurdle winner Espoir D’Allen raced in the colours of leading owner JP McManus, for whom Walsh has ridden many big races winners.

Mark Walsh

It hasn’t always been plain sailing for the quietly-spoken rider. His career had stalled with only four winners in 2006-07 but received a boost when riding P’Tit Fute to victory in a valuable handicap hurdle in 2008.

His attitude clearly impressed McManus who made him an important part of his team.

Mark Walsh – Key Jockey Stats

Walsh rode his first winner aboard Shrug on 29 September 2002 at Punchestown.

He rode his first Grade 1 winner on Defy Logic at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival in 2013. He was denied a first Irish jump jockeys championship by injury in 2014-15. He still ended the season with a personal best 75 winners.

He gained his first Cheltenham Festival victory aboard Bleu Berry for Willie Mullins in the 2018 Coral Cup. He then achieved the biggest success of his career when riding runaway winner Espoir D’Allen in the Champion Hurdle for Gavin Cromwell. Walsh has ridden two four-times in his career to date, at Limerick in 2017 and Navan in 2021.

Mark Walsh’s Big Race Wins

Captain Cee Bee was one of the first horses to put Walsh on the map. He won the Grade 3 Poplar Square Chase and the Friends of Tipperary Hurdle (twice). Other early high-profile winners include Bob Lingo in the 2012 Galway Plate and Double Seven in the 2013 Munster National.

Kitten Rock win the Grade 2 Red Mills Trial Hurdle in February 2015 and Jezki’s Grade 1 win in the Ladbrokes World Series Hurdle in April further showcased Walsh’s talents.

He won the Irish Gold Cup in 2016 aboard Carlingford Lough and also rode significant winners in Anibale Fly and Any Second Now. Espoir D’Allen’s 2019 Champion Hurdle victory was another landmark victory.

Walsh also won the Ballymore on City Island and enjoyed Grade 1 victories at Liverpool and Punchestown with Champ and Unowhatimeanharry respectively. His most recent Grade 1 victories include Fakir D’Oudairies in the 2022 Ascot Chase and Melling Chase and Sire Du Berlais in the Liverpool Hurdle.

Mark Walsh’s Most Famous Victories

Espoir D’Allen was a brilliant winner of the 2019 Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham. He was largely overlooked in the betting as a 16-1 chance as he was stepping up from Grade 3 victories at Naas and Limerick. He could be picked out a long way from home travelling easily under Walsh and readily eased 15 lengths clear in the straight. Walsh took the ride with Barry Geraghty preferring dual Champion Hurdler Buveur D’Air. Tragically Espoir D’Allen died at the age of five.

Walsh was a shock 20-1 winner of the Irish Gold Cup in 2016. He was never the easiest horse to predict and on this occasion, he came from the rear of the field to cause an upset. It is debatable whether he would have won if Valseur Lido had not unseated Ruby Walsh at the final fence.

Summary of Jumps Jockey Mark Walsh

Mark Walsh has a reputation of being something of a “super sub” but he is a fine rider and one of the strongest in a finish.

If you are in any doubt, watch his ride on Brazil in the Fred Winter Hurdle at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival.

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