DAVY RUSSELL BLOG: Leopardstown Wednesday
A huge thrill to win the Savills Chase on Galvin on Tuesday. As I said in Tuesday’s Star Sports blog it was never going to be easy with A Plus Tard in the race but my fella is starting to make a name for himself at the top table. The owner Ronnie (Bartlett) is a big supporter of me, Gordon and the yard so I was over the moon for him. It was also my first Grade 1 win since I’ve come back – I’ve gone close a couple of times but it was a lovely feeling to get one back under the belt. To be fair I wasn’t sure where the line was. I just kept my head down and the saddle had slipped a little. I didn’t want the line to come too soon as I knew I was getting there! Gordon and the team have done an excellent job with him, nursing him along patiently and that’s been rewarded big time.
On to the final day of action at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival and I’ve another four nice rides to look forward to including Run Wild Fred in the Grade One Neville Hotels Novice Chase and the old fella Petit Mouchoir in the Grade One Matheson Hurdle…
FISTON DES ISSARDS – 12.35pm
My first ride of the afternoon is Fiston Des Issards who is a grand horse who has done everything nicely so far. He was a good second in a maiden hurdle in Fairyhouse last November before disappointing back there again the last day. He’s had plenty of time and it’s good to get him back on track here. I guess the big challenge for him is that he may need slightly calmer waters rather than taking on the likes of Kilcruit and Journey With Me. Both of those two are hugely respected.
RUN WILD FRED – 1.45pm (Neville Hotels Novice Chase – Grade One)
The first of the Grade One action where I am back aboard Run Wild Fred who I partnered to win the Troytown in Navan the last day. He was really good then but makes the big old jump up from handicap company into a Grade One. This will be his first go at the highest level, but he deserves a crack at a pot like this. I guess Vanillier is the one to beat on the back of his win in the Florida Pearl the last day.
PETIT MOUCHOIR – 2.20pm
Next up I ride my old friend Petit Mouchoir (pictured below) who is still mixing it with the big boys at the age of 10. He’s in grand form at home but may just need the run. Gordon (Elliott) also saddles Zanahiyr and Felix Desjy meaning he is responsible for half the field. Zanahiyr was no match for Sharjah in Punchestown last month and should finish closer this time. Whether he can beat him here, where he goes so well, remains to be seen. Felix Desjy switches back to hurdles and has a bit to find.
RODANICHE – 2.55pm
Finally, I partner Rodaniche in the novice handicap hurdle. He is one that will appreciate any juice in the ground and comes here on the back of a disappointing show in Fairyhouse. If he can bounce back to the form he was in back in October in Wexford he’ll be competitive. I’d fear Stumptown as he looks a nice type. He had Top Bandit in behind him in Limerick the last day and he’s won three since.