Ted Walsh is one of the bigger characters in recent years that has been around Irish racing. A Grand National winner, father to an incredibly prolific career jockey, and a man known to land a gamble or two in his time, including in the Grand National, Ted will be well known to many who follow national hunt racing.
He’s had success at the highest level in the past, but the Grand National was undoubtedly the biggest victory of his career, and he won that with a horse called Papillon in 2000. It was a family affair that day, with son Ruby riding the horse, his first ride in the race, and during his career as a jockey, Ruby rode many winners for his dad, as did Katie Walsh the daughter of Ted.
Born on April 14th, 1950, Walsh actually started his career in racing as a jockey and had plenty of success doing so. He won four races at the Cheltenham Festival and landed the Irish amateur jockey title an impressive 11 times.
It was as a trainer where he has really made a mark on racing, though, and where he managed to find success in the Grand National. The yard has been known to be very shrewd over the years, getting their horses right and fit on the day and then having real confidence in them to deliver. In terms of their Grand National victory, this was precisely what they did and they pulled it off perfectly.
Ted Walsh Grand National Wins
- 2000 - Papillon ridden by Ruby Walsh
|2023||Any Second Now||Fence 18 - Pulled Up||-||Mark Walsh|
|2022||Any Second Now||2||£211,100||Mark Walsh|
|2021||Any Second Now||3||£100,000||Mark Walsh|
|2014||Colbert Station||Fence 25 - Pulled Up||-||Mark Walsh|
|2013||Colbert Station||Fence 15 - Unseated Rider||-||Tony McCoy|
|2013||Seabass||13||-||Ms Katie Walsh|
|2012||Seabass||3||£102,863||Ms Katie Walsh|
|2009||Southern Vic||8||-||Niall Madden Jnr|
|2007||Jack High||Fence 6 - Fell||-||Richard McGrath|
|2006||Rince Ri||Fence 27 - Refused||-||Andrew McNamara|
|2006||Jack High||Fence 15 - Unseated Rider||-||David Casey|
|1992||Roc De Prince||17||-||Charlie Swan|
First Grand National Winner With Papillon
Ted Walsh must have really fancied Papillon’s chances of winning the 2000 Grand National because he went out of his way to ensure the horse ran in the race. Betty Moran, who ran the ownership group of the horse, did not initially allow the horse to be run in the race because she didn’t like the risk it posed. She took plenty of convincing from Ted and eventually trusted her trainer and agreed to his thinking, so Papillon was given an entry.
From then on, the horse was trained for the race to perfection, dropping back over hurdles to protect his handicap mark. Ted knew he was onto something with this horse, and the stable money put on him to win on the day was a sign of just how confident they were. He opened up at 33/1 on the morning of the race and wasn’t tipped up anywhere, so this was purely stable money that drove the price down, and he ended up going off at 10/1 when the race began.
In terms of the race itself, the horse ran really well, was given a great ride by Ruby Walsh, even though he was in the contest for the first time and jumped the big fences with ease. It was a two-horse race at the end, with Mely Moss, the horse who was challenging Papillon. However, in the end, it was a strong staying performance from the Walsh-trained runner, which eventually led him to be the winner by one and a quarter lengths.
The pair were well clear of the third horse, Niki Dee, who was 12 lengths behind them. When winning the race, Papillon was in his prime and looked the ideal type to be looked after and brought back to defend his crown a year later.
That happened, and in a dramatic event in 2001, Papillon would finish fourth. That only tells half of the story, though, he was fourth and last to finish, had to be remounted by his jockey to get back into the race, and many believed the conditions were too tough, so the race should have been called off.
A very different test, but in 2000 we did see the best of this horse when he was trusted to go well by his trainer Ted Walsh and paid dividends by winning the race. Market confidence was shown by the money that came, mainly from those within and connected to the yard, showing the shrewdness that has been associated with them for a while, and they certainly got this one right.
Famous Horses Trained By Ted Walsh
Here are some of the bigger names trained by Ted Walsh during his career.
Any Second Now