Hurricane Fly At Cheltenham in preparation for the Festival 2011

Hurricane Fly with work rider Aaron Madden at Cheltenham on Sunday

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)  

Walsh to ride Hurricane Fly in Champion Hurdle

RUBY WALSH will take over from Paul Townend on Hurricane Fly in the StanJames Champion Hurdle after trainer Willie Mullins ended speculation regarding riding plans for the seven-time Grade 1 winner in Tuesday's big race.

On a day when Walsh rode his first winner for four months, Mullins confirmed the riding arrangements for his leading Champion Hurdle contender to the Racing Post.

 

He said: "I've decided that Ruby will ride Hurricane Fly. I ran it by the horse's owners and spokewith Ruby and with Paul, who will now ride our other Champion Hurdle runner Thousand Stars.

"Ruby is our number-one rider and it's good that he's fit and back in action and among the winners again."

Walsh, like Mullins, will be seeking a first Champion Hurdle win. He has partnered Hurricane Fly, who worked at Cheltenham on Sunday morning, to three of his nine wins over hurdles but has not ridden the son of Montjeu in a race since April 2009, when the combination landed the Evening Herald Champion Novice Hurdle at the Punchestown festival.

Townend has ridden the horse to his other six Grade 1 wins, including three this season.

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