There goes a racing great.
Katie Walsh was supposed to ride in the bumper at Punchestown today but, as with so many parts of horseracing, there were some late changes and she found herself with another mount.
The 33-year-old was actually third in line to ride Willie Mullins’ Antey in the 2-mile Novice Hurdle but, when she got the nod, she was ready.
Walsh was pushed all the way in the race but Antey powered home over the final stretch and she raised an exultant arm as they crossed the line in triumph. The jockey, who has featured in ‘more Grade Ones than I’d like to remember’, then chose that moment as a perfect way to retire.
“I’m just so happy I’m going out on my terms,” Walsh told At the Races.
Walsh said she had been thinking about her retirement for a while and she is ready for the next chapter in her life. “I just said that whenever I rode the next winner then that’d be it. I’m just lucky I picked up a spare in the Handicap Hurdle and to ride it for Willie makes it extra special.”
"I'm just happy it's on my terms," the retired @katiewalsh9 tells Gary O'Brien. "It's been a marvellous career with nothing but unbelievable memories. Everyone is here and at Punchestown, it couldn't be a better place." pic.twitter.com/7PZWj1uLup
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) April 27, 2018
Family, friends and colleagues were all at Punchestown to roar Walsh on so her retirement party, tonight, will be jam-packed.