Ruby Walsh Retired: Five of the most infamous final flight falls suffered by the greatest there was, Ruby Walsh

WELL, someone had to do it.

Ruby Walsh will rightly be remembered as one of, if not the best jumps jockey to grace the circuit. But there's a big elephant in the room. Yes, you know the one.

Annie Power – Cheltenham, Mares' Hurdle 2015

The world of sport was prepared for a Willie Mullins-Ruby Walsh four-timer on the biggest stage of all.

What it wasn't ready for, was what unfolded under the nose of Cheltenham's packed grandstand.

Ruby Tuesday, as it became known, will always be overshadowed by Annie Power's fall.

First Douvan scooted home in the Supreme, followed in the Arkle by the nutter that is Un De Sceaux before Faugheen completed a treble to savour in the Champion Hurdle.

Bookies are always reported to be running for cover, but this time, they actually were. Step up Annie Power and Ruby Walsh, history awaits with a potential four-timer and the front pages of Wednesday's newspapers.

It was all going perfectly, Ruby was swinging five lengths clear, the crowd was already celebrating and wallets were about to burst. Then an almighty hush. The unthinkable had happened.

Ruby and Annie went down.

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Benie Des Dieux – Cheltenham, Mares' Hurdle 2019

Four years on. The very same race, the same connections. While the circumstances may not have been as intense, history repeated itself in a cruel way as again Ruby came down at the last.

Sent off the 10-11 jolly, she was cruising home, it was Annie Power in all but name.

The last hurdle again swallowed up Ruby and his partner, and the groan was heard throughout the Cotswolds.

Arctic Fire – Aintree, Aintree Hurdle 2015

Away from Cheltenham, Ruby still faced his demons – this time on Merseyside.

Sat up like a statue, travelling a dream as Ruby does best, there only looked one winner as Arctic Fire turned into the Aintree home straight.

Despite three horses in front, and the looming presence of eventual winner Jezki under AP McCoy, Walsh was calm as you like.

That was until Arctic Fire jinked at the last and Jezki was left to cruise home for Jessica Harrington.

The 15-8 favourite burnt plenty of fingers that day and Ruby was again in the spotlight for reasons he'd rather forget. Not that the great man can't handle it.


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Valseur Lido – Leopardstown, Irish Gold Cup 2016

Perhaps the most agonising of all – to watch anyway – was the slow motion fall Ruby suffered at Leopardstown.

It's one that largely goes under tha radar, and while it is impossible to blame Ruby, he was visibly gutted in the aftermath.

After doing the hard work and nursing the seven-year-old through the mud – as only he can do – Valseur Lido landed awkwardly and was in no mood to get Ruby over the line.

Ruby was the first to admit he had the race at his mercy had he negotitated the last. Again it was JP McManus who profited as the evergreen Carlingford Lough strode home to scoop the lot.

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Footpad & Saldier – Naas, 2018

Not one, but two. It was an afternoon to remember for Twitter and its band of merry trolls.

First came Footpad. He was set to take it to Altior over two miles this campaign and was sent off at 4-9 here.

It soon went wrong though, Saint Calvados looked the winner a long way out, but Footpad kept plugging on before he got it all wrong at the last.

Footpad suffered an injury and hasn't got close to the level of form that saw him storm home in the Arkle.

Then would you Adam and Eve it, in the very next race, fresh from dusting himself down, Ruby fell at the last again.

This time it was 13-8 favourite Saldier who was the unfortunate partner.

Going best, with soon-to-be Champion Hurdle winner Espoir D'Allen just behind, the final hurdle beckoned.

Sitting comfortably, Ruby was calm, but the horse failed to pick up and skidded across the turf.

And no, Paddy Power didn't pay him a bloody thing.

More drama at @NaasRacecourse as Espoir D'Allen wins the Grade 3 Fishery Lane Hurdle. Saldier and Ruby Walsh up after their final flight fall…

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