RUBY Walsh, with 56 winners, is the winningmost rider at the Cheltenham Festival. Walsh, who has been top jockey at the festival on 11 occasions, said that he is likely to be ready for the 2018 Festival next Monday.

Walsh, 38, has been out of action since November, when he fractured his right tibia in a fall from Let’s Dance over hurdles at Punchestown, but he has been been back riding out for Willie Mullins since the weekend and is set to return to race-riding.

When he does make his long-awaited return depends on how Ireland’s rearranged schedule of meetings pan out following the recent snow.

He said: “Whether I’ll be back riding before Cheltenham will depend on what the weather does and what meetings are on in Ireland later this week – and what horses will be running.”

Mullins said: “It’s great to have Ruby back riding out and we’re looking forward to having him back in action on the track.

“I have a good few entries made for Navan and Thurles on Thursday, and for Leopardstown on Friday, and we’ll have entries for Gowran [Saturday] and Naas [Sunday], so I’d imagine we’ll have our share of runners.”

Walsh is 4-6 to be leading jockey again at Cheltenham next week, when his first mount is set to be Getabird, whom he has never ridden in public, in the opening Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. – extracts from Racing Post.