AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

DAVY RUSSELL blog: Boxing Day Preview

There is a hell of a lot of decent racing to look forward to on both sides of the Irish Sea over the Christmas period – it will just be very strange for me watching on from the side-lines. That said, I suppose I wasn’t riding last Christmas, but I knew then I’d eventually be back in the saddle. I’ll be heading to Leopardstown on St Stephen’s Day and as I said in my other blog, I may head back there later in the week too.

Here are my thoughts on the big races over the period and some horses to look out for. As I’m no longer riding, I’ll make the one selection in each race too… ie the horse I’d like to be riding…

KEMPTON (Monday 26th December)

GOSHEN – 12.35pm Kempton – Long Walk Hurdle

Only the five runners here with most eyes firmly on the Champ v Paisley Park rematch. Now that the rain has come, I’m just wondering whether Goshen may just be the one. He was much better the last day and the step up in trip may just be a plus. Listen, he would have won a Triumph Hurdle if he’d stayed up and they tend to make good stayer. I won the race on Tiger Roll and he turned out okay 😊

CONSTITUTION HILL – 1.55pm Kempton – Christmas Hurdle

This time last month, I was firmly in the Honeysuckle camp and felt that this fella had to really come out and prove himself. I suggested that her crown had already been placed on Constitution Hill’s (pictured below) head without him doing anything. Well, since then she has come out and run below par while he was unbelievable in Newcastle. I hold my hand in the air now and say that he is very good, and it would be a shock if he were not to bolt up again. The filly (Epatante) is there should anything go wrong, but he should win with daylight to spare.

ENVOI ALLEN – 2.30pm Kempton – King George VI Chase

You are all going to think – of course, he is going to select his old friend Envoi Allen (pictured below). However, I genuinely think he has done a lot more than a fair few of these. He was really good in Down Royal the last day and will take some beating if running to that same form. That’s the big ‘if’ I suppose as he can be hit and miss. Of the home team, I’d say L’Homme Presse is the one despite being better suited to going left-handed. The rain has come just in time, and he’ll be the danger to Envoi Allen.

LEOPARDSTOWN (Monday 26th December)

DOCTOR BRAVO – 12.35pm Leopardstown

The first of Gordon’s to keep an eye out for is Doctor Bravo in the maiden hurdle. He won nicely in Fairyhouse the last day and should relish the introduction of hurdles. He’s got a bright future and can make his presence felt here. Dark Raven looked good in bumpers two years ago but will have to be on his A Game after 600 + days off to beat Doctor Bravo.

GALA MARCEAU – 1.10pm Leopardstown – Juvenile Hurdle

This looks a good renewal of the Juvenile Hurdle with Willie’s Fairyhouse winner Lossiemouth looking the most likely winner if she repeats that run, let alone builds on it. This looks a deeper race with the likes of Cougar and Nusret looking big dangers. If there is a bet in the race it could easily be Gala Marceau for Kenny Alexander. She won a Listed in France and gets a fair bit of weight here.

FIL DOR – 2.20pm Leopardstown – Grade One Novice Chase

This looks a straight match on paper between Gordon’s two Fil Dor (pictured below) and Hollow Games. The more rain that comes the better the chance for the former who is a smart prospect. That said there isn’t as much between them as the betting might suggest. If the rain stays away, it would be no surprise to see Hollow Games win. I suggest you watch the skies ahead of the race…

LIMERICK (Monday 26th December)

GERRI COLOMBE – 2.40pm Limerick – Faugheen Novice Chase

Gordon has another outstanding chance in another Grade One with Gerri Colombe in Limerick. I’d say the trip is the bare minimum for him and Kilcruit will be no pushover. In fact, the three other rivals have more done than the big two, who probably have more class. I’ll stick with Gerri though as he is the one to beat.

Happy Christmas



previous arrow
next arrow