DAVY RUSSELL: Gowran Park Saturday

Busy weekend for me with seven rides at Gowran on Saturday and then I’m at Navan on Sunday for Ladbrokes Troytown Chase. I’m on Out Sam in the big race who gave me a nice win in the Cork Grand National last time out.

I also ride the bang in form Dinons in the Monksfield, more news on Sunday’s rides in my next blog which we will published after racing on Saturday.

I’ll obviously be anxious to keep a close eye on Haydock where there’s a stunning renewal of the Betfair Chase. It was an incredible performance from Bristol De Mai 12 months ago when he romped home by an eased down 57 lengths (!!) but it was heavy that day and it will ride much closer to good on Saturday.

It’s a race to savour with Gold Cup winner Native River renewing rivalry with Might Bite in a contest that will shape the season.

If pressed, I would just favour the chances of Might Bite.

Now for Saturday at Gowran.



FLAT TO THE MAX (11.35am)

The afternoon, make that morning, starts with the first division of the maiden hurdle where I’m onboard Flat To The Max for Gordon (Elliott). He started off well enough winning a flat race for Ger Lyons on heavy ground but hasn’t progressed as we’d hoped for over hurdles. He was mid-division the last day in Fairyhouse, so we’ll need to see an improvement on that. The blinkers are on for the first time, he just lacks a little concentration so hopefully they will do the trick and help him settle. There’s been some rain (at last) which will help him but it’s quite a tough contest to start the day.


Point to point winner who has made a promising start, winning a bumper at Naas, and then fourth in what looked a better class bumper at Naas in February. Again, the recent rain should help. I’ve schooled him, he’s a grand big horse and has done plenty of work ahead of his hurdling debut. Owner Kenneth Alexander is putting together a nice string and I wouldn’t be surprised to see his mare Sinoria run a big race on her debut under Rules. She was a point to point winner in Borris House in County Carlow.

SATOSHI (1.10pm)

A race that has thrown up some top class winners including Douvan back in 2014. I make a quick reappearance onboard Satoshi who got the race in the stewards room last Sunday after first past the post Cuneo was disqualified and placed third. It was a surprise, as the Cheltenham Champion Bumper winner Relegate was a red hot favourite. My fella is back in trip to 2m (from 2m 6f) but it’s a tactic that Gordon often uses as we try and find out about them on the racecourse rather than at home so we’ll find out whether the shorter trip is also in his comfort range. Satoshi should have come a lot for last week’s win and I’m looking forward to getting back onboard. Plenty of dangers including the filly Buttons And Bows who made a winning start in what looked a good race at Cork.

PAT’S OSCAR (1.45pm)

She always tries very hard but has a tough task on her seasonal reappearance off joint top weight of 11-12. Her three career wins have all come on very testing ground so that would have to be a concern – it was knee deep when I won on her in Fairyhouse back in February and she relished it that day.


He lost his way a little last season but there was a lot more encouragement two weeks ago when he chased home Saint Calvados in a Grade 3 in Naas. It was a big effort, even allowing for the fact that red hot favourite Footpad came down at the last and he might have been flattered in second spot. With the run under his belt hopefully he can progress again now he’s back to the 2m 4f trip. Last year he showed his best form this side of Christmas but this is a big test with the likes of hat-trick seeking Wishmoor in opposition and Jett who looks progressive.

BURREN LIFE (2.55pm)

Has a little bit of experience now which should help in a race where quite a few are making their chasing debuts. My fella hasn’t been beaten far in his two races this season at Tipperary and at Naas the last day when third to Discorama in what looked quite a hot contest. His jumping has been sound and he’s learning his game nicely. Both Speakeasy and A Plus Tard are very unexposed and could easily turn out to be well above average.


Solid performer who has been running consistently well over both fences and hurdles. He might just be in the grip of the handicapper though who keeps nudging him up for placed efforts, up another 3lb for finishing second to Dark Outsider at Cork earlier in the month. We’d have gone close that day but for a mistake at the last and hopefully he can again get in the mix for trainer Dot Love.



If you have a question for Davy drop us a line at content@www.starsportsbet.co.uk and we’ll try and include in the next blog…