Ruby Walsh wins Grand National in Australia on Bashboy

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Australian Grand National: Ruby Walsh wins on Bashboy at Ballarat

Ruby Walsh has guided top weight Bashboy to a record third consecutive Australian Grand National win at Ballarat in Victoria.

Walsh has previously won the English, Irish, Welsh and Scottish Nationals.

The 36-year-old Irishman was brought in for the ride after regular jockey Steve Pateman was suspended.

Bashboy, a 12-year-old trained by Australian Ciaron Maher, was near the lead all the way and fought off the challenge of Thubiaan in the straight.

Walsh has twice won the English Grand National at Aintree - on Papillon in 2000 and Hedgehunter five years later - as well as the feature Nakayama Grand Jump in Japan.

Ruby Walsh on Bashboy
Thumbs-up from Walsh after the victory in Australia

"It's brilliant to be here. As a jump jockey, you don't get many opportunities to ply your trade abroad," he said.

"I thought I still had a little bit left as we entered the straight. I knew I was giving lots of weight away, but I was jumping so good I couldn't wait to get to the two fences.

"The horse on my inside nearly fell at the second last and I nearly fell off but when I got him back on an even keel, he started rallying going to the last and I knew I had a good show.

"I'm over the moon that I was asked to come, even happier that he won."

Maher was thrilled to see Bashboy secure his place in the record books, particularly in the hands of Walsh.

"Full credit to Ruby - he's just a true superstar. It's great for Australian jumps racing to get a rider of that calibre out here and for him to actually win the race - it'll be international news," the trainer said.

"The horse is just an outstanding horse. I'll probably never train another one like him - his toughness and his durability. I'm rapt it's all come off."

Ruby Walsh and Ciaron Maher
Jockey Ruby Walsh with winning trainer Ciaron Maher at Ballarat
Ruby Walsh on Bashboy
Walsh sits tight as he guides Bashboy to victory

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