MARK Walsh has been booked to partner La Bague Au Roi in the Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown.
Richard Johnson has ridden Warren Greatrex’s star mare on each of her eight starts over fences to date, a run which has yielded four victories, including a Grade 1 triumph at last year’s Dublin Racing Festival in the Flogas Novice Chase.
The nine-year-old is all set to head to Ireland for Sunday’s €250,000 feature, but with the British champion jockey sidelined by injury, connections require a new pilot.
Greatrex told the PA news agency: “After speaking to the owners, we decided to go with an Irish-based jockey who knows the track at Leopardstown really well – and we’ve decided Mark Walsh is the man for the job.
“She (La Bague Au Roi) is in great form at home and I couldn’t be any happier with her. The plan is to leave on Friday morning, to then give her the chance to get settled in.
“Hopefully we’ll see a big run from her.”
La Bague Au Roi is a best-priced 33/1 for the Irish Gold Cup, with Kemboy and Delta Work disputing favouritism.
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