Ted Walsh refused to be dismayed by the heavy defeat Papillon suffered on his return to action at Navan yesterday. His 2000 Martell Grand National winner beat only one runner home as he trailed in 10th under Ruby Walsh in a handicap hurdle on his first outing since he was remounted to finish fourth in the Aintree showpiece last April.
But the trainer said on Channel 4 Racing: "He ran adequate, he didn't kill himself - which he never does. Ruby dropped him out towards the back on his first run since Liverpool, he travelled well but wasn't good enough with 12 stone on his back or probably fit enough to pick up the ones in front."
Stable companion Rince Ri may bid to redeem his reputation over Christmas, having jumped moderately when a remote last of four behind Florida Pearl at Punchestown last Sunday. "My fellow jumped stink and ran stink," Walsh reflected. "He made two or three horrendous mistakes which you can't do in that company. Hopefully he will come back to himself - we might run him again at Christmas but you would have to put your vouchers on hold at the moment."
Filed by Sinéad Kissane