DAVY RUSSELL: Fairyhouse Saturday

It’s the start of a huge weekend at Fairyhouse and I’ve got what looks to be a grand book of rides. There are three Grade 1’s on Sunday’s card and as usual I’ll be back on Saturday evening with a new blog looking at Sunday.

I can’t get my head around the weather. It’s like a summers day as I write these notes but we need more rain – it’s just not normal at this time of the year!

Thanks to John Oakes who emailed in asking whether the 2m 4f of the John Durkan was far enough for Presenting Percy?

The answer is that Presenting Percy is very versatile distance wise so I can’t see that being a problem as a season starting point. Obviously, he will need further in time, but it looks the perfect place to start. As to whether I will ride him or not, the answer there is hopefully! Like with any quality horse, its nice to be asked to ride them. Obviously, the majority of my rides come from Gordon so I’ll have to see what his plans are too.

I was very pleased with Mengli Khan’s first win over fences this week in Punchestown on Wednesday. It’s taken a while for him to get used to the bigger obstacles at home but on the day he did it well and jumped nicely. Before we get too carried away with the championship races though he’s got some very important races coming up in Ireland to get under his belt first.

Now onto Saturday’s rides.

SATURDAY

FAIRYHOUSE

FLAWLESS ESCAPE (12.15pm)

I ride him for the first time on his chasing debut and like most of the novice chases this side of Christmas we will start to see some very competitive races as the bigger guns come out to play. Flawless Escape has schooled well but all his form has so far come on soft ground or deeper so this will be a new experience if the rain doesn’t arrive. He’s lightly raced though, and had good form over hurdles so hopefully will make a positive transition.

MRS LOVETT (12.50pm)

She won her beginners chase at Thurles nine days ago. It wasn’t by any means the strongest of contests but I liked the way she got the job done. She should again handle the ground and the handicap mark of 118 looks an OK starting point. Hopefully she should go well.

DUCA DE THAIX (1.25pm)

Out again quickly after finishing a close second to Jetz in Navan on Sunday. On paper this looks an easier task but he can fool you as he travels so well but lacks a gear change. This does look an easier task for him though and Gordon (Elliott) has taken the view that the switch to handicap company might suit him and he starts off on a mark of 133. He deserves to get his head in front.

COLUMN OF FIRE (1.55pm)

A grand horse who has done nothing wrong in his two bumpers. He was impressive when winning the second start at Navan which came on good ground but as ever with bumpers you don’t really know how good the form is until they get pitched in over hurdles. There are dangers everywhere in this huge field but he is an exciting prospect who should take some beating.

WESTLAND ROW (3.05pm)

We’re viewing this very much as his first start of the season as he clipped heals and unseated rider at the second flight last Sunday in Navan. It’s also about getting his confidence back straight away and this looks quite a big ask off joint top-weight in a competitive handicap hurdle.

DAVY


YOUR SAY

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