HORSE RACING

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DAVY RUSSELL: Exclusive Weekend Preview

It’s been a quieter week for me but that might not be a bad thing given what we have to look forward to over the next few weeks! It was nice to get a couple of winners in Fairyhouse on Wednesday with Gevrey and Burn The Evidence who really did the job nicely on her hurdling debut.

I’m riding at Naas on Saturday and Punchestown on Sunday. Plans are coming together for the Star Cheltenham video previews and I’m looking forward to recording them. Watch this space as they say!

SATURDAY

NAAS

1.05pm EBASARI Private Security Ltd Cleaning And Maintenance Supporting Kill GAA Rated Novice Hurdle (4yo) 1m 7 1/2f

We were delighted with this fella when he made a winning start over hurdles in Cork getting the better of Adamantly Chosen who set the form bar high and that one won by 27 lengths on his next start. It was therefore disappointing that Ebasari didn’t run his race in Navan last time out. Looking back it might just have been a bit tough for him at this stage taking on older rivals and I’m hoping that now he’s back in his own age group he can get back on track. A smallish field but it still looks very competitive.

1.40pm SAM’S CHOICE Connolly’s RED MILLS Irish EBF Auction Novice Hurdle (IRE Incentive Race) (4yo+) 2m 3f

In a regular race of this type I’d be very happy about the chances of Sam’s Choice who keeps running his races and is sure to get off the mark over hurdles soon. I went close on him in Punchestown when just failing to peg back Freedom To Dream and he fought well that day. The problem here is that it looks a very hot contest. Henry’s (De Bromhead) Journey With Me looks the one we all have to beat. The form of his Leopardstown win back in December is working out really well (Minella Crooner 2nd, Kilcruit 3rd).

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SUNDAY

PUNCHESTOWN

2.10pm COACH CARTER Hollywoodbets Cheltenham Festival Preview March 3rd Rated Novice Chase (5yo+) 2m

His form started off well and he made a great start over fences in Listowel when I won on him beating Gevrey (winner this week for me) but he’s taken a big step backwards in his last couple of races and has made a couple of mistakes too. Hopefully the switch back from handicaps might help him as I still believe there are more wins to come but we need to get Coach Carter (pictured below) back pointing in the right direction.

2.40pm FLOUEUR Hollywoodbets Grand National Trial Handicap Chase (Grade B) (5yo+) 3m 4f

A Grand National trial and Gordon (Elliott) runs four and they can all be given some sort of a chance. I ride Floueur who was in at the deep end when third to Galopin Des Champs in Leopardstown over Christmas but backed that effort up with a win in Fairyhouse the last day surviving a bad mistake at the last.

3.10pm AU FLEURON I.N.H. Stallion Owners EBF Novice Hurdle (Listed Race) (4yo+) 2m

Au Fleuron had been really consistent so far – I’ve ridden him in his three starts over hurdles and he now has his first race away from Navan. We couldn’t peg back Banbridge last time but that one has a Cheltenham entry so hopefully the form might be half decent. That said, this looks a very decent contest. Deploy The Getaway, Largy Debut and Slip Of The Tongue can all be given solid chances.

Good Luck
Davy


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