23 January, 2022

AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

DAVY RUSSELL exclusive blog THURLES Sunday

Grand day at Navan on Saturday – I came away with two winners and also got the chance to watch the big race from Ascot from the weighing room. It’s not often you can say a race delivers more than it was hyped up to be but I think this definitely did. It was just a sensational battle and the atmosphere was electric just watching it. Shiskin has proved himself number one and we’ll just have to see if that stays the same in Cheltenham. It sets the Champion Chase up as one of the races of the week.

Out on the course I thought Au Fleuron ran his race in the opener – we were giving away weight so it was never going to be easy but he stayed on late to grab second. As I said in my blog yesterday I thought it looked a decent race beforehand.

My two winners came in both divisions of the maiden hurdle. Jaycean was a pleasant surprise, he was a bit green at home but totally professional on his first day at school and that was a great start. In the second division Ash Tree Meadow looked entitled to win it on the form book and so it proved – we didn’t have many anxious moments.

I spoke to Rob (James) after Tiger Roll’s run in the handicap hurdle and he was happy enough with his effort saying that plenty of the old enthusiasm was there and hopefully that will have done him the world of good.

On to Sunday and two rides at Thurles ….



1:30 The Goffer BetVictor W.T. O’Grady Memorial Irish EBF Novice Hurdle 2m 7f

The Goffer was good in Navan when winning in December when he travelled really well but we were disappointed the last day in Limerick where he was well held in fourth. I suppose looking back the ground might have gone a bit deep for him as it was his first try on a heavy surface, so hopefully the return to the forecast yielding will be a positive but that said the one we all have to beat is his stablemate Gerri Colombe who is now unbeaten in a point, two bumpers and a maiden hurdle and looks a really nice prospect for the yard.

2:05 The Greek Horse & Jockey Handicap Hurdle 1m 7 1/2f

I was really pleased to win on him the last day in Leopardstown where we had a great tussle with Belgoprince. I don’t think anyone could deny The Greek that first win as he’s knocked on the door so many times and it’s finally opened. I just hope that’s given him that added bit of confidence and he can go well again here.

▪️ In the two big races on the card I’m looking forward to seeing how Minella Melody does over fences in the mares novice at 2.40pm. She has plenty of class over hurdles. Allaho already has plenty of form in the book over his three rivals and the Grade 2 Horse & Jockey Hotel Chase at 3.15pm looks his to lose.

Good Luck