Like always, Ted Walsh put it best
Ted Walsh puts it best.
"He had the mind to do it. He wasn't a front-running jockey, but when he was in front, you knew he was dangerous. When he wasn't in front and he was coming from behind, the lads were like, 'where is he now?' He had that about him," he said on RTÉ not long after his son's retirement.
That's a little something only the greatest have, that's what Ruby Walsh had and what that's called is the fear factor.
Every jock in the weigh room was afraid of the master from Kill.
The only jockey with a stone-cold clock in his head, Ruby was the best judge of pace and timing that horse racing has ever seen.
If he went to the front, they knew he'd be hard passed. If he sat out the back, they'd be worried that he had something up his sleeve. Punters and spectators flocked to watch him, horses loved it under him.
Ruby was one of the game's greatest.
It all started off in 1998 when he won the Irish amateur jockey's title at just 18-years of age. This kid was something special. His most treasured moment in the saddle came two years later when he rode his father's horse - Papillon - to glory in the Aintree Grand National - the most iconic steeplechase of all and in between then and his last, gloriously calculated victory aboard Kemboy on Thursday, there's been some vivid memories and some golden horses.
Kauto Star. Hurricane Fly. Faugheen. Big Bucks. You rattle them off, he's probably sat on them.
— RTÉ Racing (@RTEracing) May 1, 2019
"He was able to take the pressure of the big occasion from a very young age, he was always good on the big occasions..." continued Ted.
"He was able to cope with adversity...I'll miss it, but I didn't think I'd get 24 years of it," he said with a playful tap on Ruby's head.
Ruby's mind casts back to one of the darkest days, when Al Boum Photo - the horse second today broke his leg in Cheltenham last year. He thinks of the good times too. The tears are almost flowing.
There isn't a dry eye in Punchestown.
Thanks for everything Ruby.