DAVY RUSSELL: Fairyhouse Sunday

Obviously gutted to be pipped onboard Whisper at Newbury in the Ladbroke Trophy Chase but he ran his heart out and is an amazing horse.

That was a hell of a run considering the weight he had to carry and he seems to be improving even at the age of nine.

I have to give a special mention to his trainer Nicky Henderson who had him spot on for today. He really is a genius and is as good a trainer as I’ve ever ridden for.

Back to Ireland on Sunday for an absolute belter of a card at Fairyhouse featuring three Grade 1’s.



MITCHOUKA (12.30pm)

Really disappointed when he was beaten on his Irish debut at Thurles but he has more than made up for it since with wins here at Fairyhouse and Punchestown last time when he was impressive. JP’s Espoir D’allen is unbeaten in both starts and it’s a cracking start to the day with the winner of this surely emerging as current leading Irish contender for the Triumph?

HARDLINE (1pm Royal Bond)

No denying it, this is one hell of a race. Just the seven runners but plenty of depth and you wouldn’t be massively surprised if any of them won. It’s got to be the best novice hurdle so far this season either side of the Irish Sea. I’m onboard Hardline who bids for a hat-trick after wins at Wexford and Clonmel last time where he had the field well strung out. This is a huge test for him as it’s a big step up in class. Gordon also runs Morgan and the progressive Mengli Khan who won the For Auction Novice Hurdle in good style at Navan last time. JP throws three quality horses into the race and the form of Early Doors, in particular, looks rock solid.

MICK JAZZ (1.30pm Hatton’s Grace)

Another intriguing race with three Cheltenham Festival winners from last season taking each other on! They include Apple’s Jade who won this last year and came out to win the Lismullen Hurdle first time out this season at Navan. Even with Nichols Canyon in the race she looks the one we all have to beat. I’m on Mick Jazz who might have a tough job on his hands in this company but when you are rated 147 you have to take your chances at the top table.

DEATH DUTY (2.35pm Drinmore)

Love him and we always thought he would make into a smashing chaser. This has been the plan for a number of weeks and I was delighted with his smooth win at Punchestown last time out in the Buck House Novice Chase as he looked to have learnt plenty from his chasing debut at Tipperary. This will be a big test for him and hopefully all the Cheltenham questions can be answered positively after the race. Dinaria Des Obeaux is in great form and could be the danger getting weight off the rest of the field.


Lovely horse who has done little wrong. He’s the class horse of the race but that goes in hand hand in hand with him having top weight of 11-10 so it will be a huge test in the ground over a marathon 3m 5f. We’ll give it our best shot.


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