DAVY RUSSELL: Cheltenham bound after good week in England

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]wo wins from two rides, fair to say I’ve enjoyed my trips to England this week which hopefully bodes well for the start of the Cheltenham November meeting on Friday.

On Monday I was aboard Whisper in the graduation chase at Kempton – a good pot despite the small field. He won really nicely and hopefully this has put him spot on for a crack at the Ladbrokes Trophy (old Hennessy) at Newbury next month.

He made a couple of minor errors down the back which sacrificed a couple of lengths but he got a good second wind over the last couple of fences to see off Clan Des Obeaux.

On Tuesday I made a first ever visit to Lingfield and scored on Jabulani who stayed on really well to win by six lengths and I’m now a big fan of Lingfield. Well I would say that wouldn’t I after one win from one ride!

Really sad news this week with the death of leading owner Alan Potts. He will be a huge loss on both sides of the Irish Sea. He was a big character of a man who will be sadly missed by the National Hunt game.

I had the pleasure of riding for Alan on plenty of occasions, often stepping in when his regular pilots were injured and he was a great man to ride for. Hopefully we will continue to see his colours on the racecourse as a reminder of Alan and Anne and their enthusiasm for the game.

Finian’s Oscar is set to run in Alan’s colours at Cheltenham on Friday in the four runner Steel Plate And Sections Novices’ Chase (2.25pm) in which I ride William Henry – my only ride of the day.

I schooled William Henry on Tuesday morning at Seven Barrows and he gave me a nice feel.

He’s still very bold at his fences and hopefully that will be a ‘controlled boldness’ and we get a safe and clear round on Friday.

Finian’s Oscar will be a tough nut to crack even with his penalty. Despite being lightly raced and only five he has already managed to win a point to point, two Grade 1 hurdles and a Listed novice chase. Some horse!

I won’t be riding at Cheltenham on Saturday, but will give you my thoughts on my best chances in Ireland this weekend.


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