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Talking Horses: Rathvinden can land the Grand National for Ruby Walsh

The Irish jockey has gone 14 years without winning the National but, at 39, has a good chance of a third victory on Saturday

Ruby Walsh, the successful rider in two Grand Nationals, has somehow managed to go 14 years without winning another one but he can enjoy a late-career highlight by landing today’s big race aboard Rathvinden (5.15). Walsh has sometimes managed to miss the National by getting injured in an earlier race but there is no chance of such a mishap this time, as the 9-1 shot is his only mount of the day.

Trained by Willie Mullins, Rathvinden looked all over a National contender when cruising through the four-miler at last year’s Cheltenham Festival. It was particularly impressive that he responded so gamely when challenged by a talented rival close home. His prep run could not have gone better at Fairyhouse in February, in a race Mullins used to prepare his previous National winner, Hedgehunter. The signs are that he will be well backed and may even end up challenging Tiger Roll at the top of the market.

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