DAVY RUSSELL BLOG: Thurles Saturday

What a difference a week makes! This time seven days ago we were all in Cheltenham for Gold Cup Day and now racing has stopped over in England with the show carrying on behind closed doors over here.

I’m fully behind the HRI’s decision to continue racing as it’s important to keep the industry going – too many peoples’ livelihoods are at stake.

It’s not just a question of turning the lights off and shutting the door behind us. These horses need to be looked after and the whole industry cannot just shut down.

As for the racedays themselves, only three people are allowed at the races with each runner and that’s the trainer, jockey and handler – it seems sensible to me and works well. We’re racing at Thurles on Saturday and it’s great to hear that you will be able to watch on ITV2 too! I’ve got three nice rides, here are my thoughts on them and the other televised races…




No ride for me in the opener but I know Fakiera pretty well having finished second on him on both his last two runs. He was a good second to Entoucas at Naas in February and then stepped up on that again the last day when second to Jon Snow in Leopardstown. He showed a likeable attitude that day and should be right in the mix. Looking at the others and you’d have to have been impressed with the way Politesse won her bumper the last day and she may take some beating.


Again, no ride for me in the second race where I know that Ferocious is better than he showed the last day. Gavin (Brouder) takes a handy 7lbs off his back and hopefully he can be competitive. It does look a wide-open contest though with Mary Frances, a good winner last time, looking the obvious one. The likes of Karl Der Grosse and Jetz will be bang there too.


A big field for the handicap hurdle where I have my first ride of the day aboard Sporty Yankee. He has lost his way a little of late – disappointing at Ayr in late January and was then well beaten back on the flat at Wolverhampton last month. Sometimes a run on the flat can freshen up these types of horses, so I’m hoping that will spark a return to form. If he can bounce back he can be competitive. That’s a big if though even though it doesn’t look a great race.


The feature race of the day where I ride another for Gordon (Elliott) in Dallas Des Pictons (pictured right). He was second to Early Doors in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham last year and is still somewhat finding his feet over fences this season. Things haven’t really gone that smoothly since winning his beginners chase although he wasn’t beaten far in a blanket finish at Naas a few weeks ago. If he had jumped the last two a bit better, he’d have been a bit closer, so he does need to tidy things up in that department. That was also a Grade Three, but there is just a worry that this looks a hotter race. The top one Sizing Pottsie has rattled off a couple of effortless wins while Zero Ten is better than he showed last time. I’m hoping my fella can step up again from last time, but he will need to if he is to get involved here.


No ride for me in the last race on ITV and it looks wide open. Arthur Moore’s At Your Ease is better than he has showed so far and the first-time tongue tie may help him a little. Wishmoor has finished runner-up three times on the bounce and deserves a turn in the winner’s enclosure. However, Henry De Bromhead has his team in great form and his Kavanaghs Corner relished the step back up in trip the last day and may not be done winning despite this mark. He may be the biggest danger to hat-trick seeking Trumps Ace.


My third and final ride of the day is Dortmund Park who wears blinkers for the first time in the beginners’ chase. He was a fair hurdler on his day having won the Grade One at Punchestown a couple of years ago but hasn’t found life that easy since. He was beaten a long way by Samcro on his chasing debut but didn’t really build on that after a bit of a break at Leopardstown a few weeks ago. He’s finished pretty tired on both of his starts today so I’m hoping to see him step up on that and finish his race. This looks a decent contest though and the eye is immediately drawn to the likes of Myth Buster and Max Dynamite.

Enjoy the racing and look after yourselves and families.


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…