Jockey Ruby Walsh insists Hurricane Fly is in a “better place” ahead of next week’s Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham after last year’s disappointing third place finish behind Rock On Ruby.

Even as the horse drifts in the market, Walsh remains confident after the Willie Mullins-trained Fly won each of his last three starts, including the Irish Champion Hurdle.

“Last year didn’t go to plan, but the whole season didn’t. He’s a really good horse but has only shown his true colors in the U.K. once. He’s bidding for a place in history and I’d love him to show them again,” Walsh said.

“He’s more relaxed these days and Willie Mullins can do exactly what he wants when he’s training him. Of course I’d be disappointed if he didn’t win.

“There’s four championship races and I have good rides in two of them and when you’ve been as fortunate as I have there, you’d be disappointed if you don’t win one of them.”

Irish jockey Ruby Walsh on Hurricane Fly in 2011©INPHO/Dan Sheridan