Ruby Walsh rides The Midnight Club in Grand National 2011

• The ante-post favourite chosen over Niche Market
• Harry Skelton to be reunited with Niche Market at Aintree

Ruby Walsh will ride the ante-post favourite The Midnight Club in the Grand National.   Jockey Ruby Walsh horse in the grand national is The Midnight Club.

Ruby Walsh hopes that the betting market has got it right having decided to partner The Midnight Club in the John Smith’s Grand National on Saturday week.

Trainer Willie Mullins had always hoped that Walsh would choose to ride the ante-post favourite ahead of the Paul Nicholls-trained Niche Market and the writing seemed to be on the wall when the pair teamed up for an exercise gallop at Mullins’ yard last Thursday.

The remainder of Mullins’ jockey arrangements are still undecided. Confirmation that Paul Townend has joined the trainer’s nephew, Emmet, on the sidelines after breaking his collar-bone in a fall at Navan on Saturday, means that Mullins will have to look elsewhere for the rides on the likes of Ballytrim and Dooneys Gate, although Tony McCoy will have the option of partnering the JP McManus-owned Arbor Supreme should he decide to desert last year’s winner Don’t Push It.

“It’s good news,” said Mullins, confirming Walsh’s booking. “The Midnight Club is in good form. He worked twice during the week and we’re very pleased with him. Everything I have that is in the race at the moment is going, if they get in.”

In Walsh’s absence, Niche Market will be reunited with Harry Skelton, the pair having teamed up to take the Irish National in 2009 when the horse was still trained by Bob Buckler. Owner Graham Regan had always indicated that should Walsh choose to defect, he would be happy to see Skelton back on board.

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