DAVY RUSSELL: Auteuil / Naas Weekend Blog

It’s been a fun week of Cheltenham Previews but the talking is about to stop and I can’t wait for the Festival to get underway on Tuesday now. Don’t forget I’ll be bringing you my thoughts exclusively on the Star Sports blog daily next week.

Also, if you haven’t had chance yet to check out the daily videos I recorded with Richard Johnson, Bill Esdaile and Luke Tarr they are available CLICK HERE.

I had a fall on Braeside at Thurles on Thursday just as we were making a challenge two out which was frustrating. Hopefully he can make amends next time and I’m fine after the tumble.

I fly over to Cheltenham on Monday morning but before that it’s a flight to France on Saturday and then back home on Saturday evening ahead of a busy day at Naas on Sunday – my final rides before Cheltenham.



CARRIACOU (2.50pm Prix Hubert d’Aillieres Hurdle Listed Race)

It was great to win the French Grand National on him last season here and I’ve been third on him in his two starts since over both hurdles and fences. We’re back over hurdles here and we again lock horns with Bipolaire who won well the last day so we have plenty to find on that form. We’ll give it our best shot and I always enjoy coming over to ride at Auteuil for connections.




We were beaten 15 lengths by Sizing Pottsie the last day in Fairyhouse but the winner was really good again when winning the Flying Bolt in Navan this week and it looks like we bumped into a real decent novice chaser. Dakota Moirette keeps running his races and has plenty of experience now so hopefully can get a first win over fences. Capuccimix for Henry (de Bromhead) looks one of the dangers after he was second to me on Chosen Mate in Gowran Park.

DALLAS DES PICTONS (2.40pm Naas Directors Plate Novice Chase Grade 3)

Gordon (Elliott) has fitted the blinkers for the first time which will hopefully keep his mind on the job after he unseated in Leopardstown. This will be the first time I have ridden him over fences and hopefully he will give me a good spin – it looks competitive, even though there are only six runners. My fella seems versatile on any ground.

MONBEG NOTORIOUS (3.15pm Leinster National)

Part of a four-strong challenge on the race from Gordon’s yard. Monbeg Notorious has been given a welcome drop in the handicap but whether it’s enough we’ll have to see as he has lost his way a bit recently. He ran OK in this last year when sixth off a mark of 151 and is now down to 142 but it’s just his current form that would be a concern. Willie Mullins had the 1-2-3 last year but relies on just two this time top weight Chef Des Obeaux and Bonbon Au Miel.

CEDARWOOD ROAD (3.45pm Kingsfurze Novice Hurdle Listed Race)

A grand horse who misses Cheltenham in favour of the Irish Festivals at Fairyhouse and Punchestown, assuming all goes well here. He was really good when winning for me in Leopardstown (pictured) and quickened up nicely to beat Jungle Junction (runs again here). He’s improved in each of his three starts and will need to do so again with the likes of Beacon Edge and Joseph’s (O’Brien) Entoucas both bringing good form and more experience to the table.

THE VERY MAN (4.20pm)

Big field here and the penny hasn’t quite dropped for my fella yet after his debut win for the stable in a bumper. There was plenty more encouragement from him in Navan last month when second to Francin – we were no match for the winner but that one looks Cheltenham bound. The extra three furlongs should suit here but it’s a big field with any number of potential improvers.

Good Luck

If you have a question for Davy drop us a line at content@starsportsbet.co.uk and we’ll try and include in the next blog…