RUBY WALSH: Nobody is irreplaceable, the show will go on…

TIGER ROLL and Davy Russell (right) passing the line to win for trainer Gordon Elliott from Magic Of Light and Rathvinden. Photo Healy Racing

I had no inkling that it was going to happen, but I must say I wasn’t entirely surprised to learn of Michael O’Leary’s decision to phase out his Gigginstown operation.

To me it was always going to happen. There was a degree of inevitability as I always felt the passion wasn’t there for the investment. They didn’t match up. For what he was spending, he had to be way more in love with National Hunt racing than he was. And that’s why it hasn’t shocked me in the same way it has many other people.

He is a businessman, and a very successful one at that, and he ran his National Hunt interest as a business. He drove a bargain with everyone, and horse racing doesn’t work as a business. You have to be in love with it.

Financially, what he was investing was massive and when you stand back and look at it, it’s clear it’s going to leave a huge hole: a huge hole in Gordon Elliott’s business, and in Noel Meade’s and Henry De Bromhead’s.

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