DAVY RUSSELL: Gowran Park Saturday

A busy weekend for me with rides at Gowran Park on Saturday and Navan on Sunday. We’ve had plenty of rain in the last couple of days so it will be testing all round.

I’ll be back on Saturday evening with my thoughts for Navan.

By then we’ll know the outcome of two fascinating races in England.

Christy 1965 Chase Ascot 2.05pm

The first big head to head of the season and will we see a better match than this all year? It looks a cracker with Altior (pictured) taking on Cyrname on their first starts of the season with presumably Solomon Grey left picking up the third placed prize.

I’m firmly in the Altior camp here, I might be proven wrong but for me he is the better horse and when you look at the class of horses that Altior has beaten it stacks up very well against Cyrname.

Betfair Chase Haydock 3.00pm

Just the four runners and I’m not sure anything can beat Bristol De Mai who goes for a hat-trick in the race. His three rivals all have the benefit of a run but Bristol De Mai goes well fresh and is such a brilliant course specialist. Lostintranslation was visually very impressive at Carlisle but this is another step up the ladder for him.

Saturday

GOWRAN PARK

NOBEL JOSHUA (11.50am)

An early start at Gowran on Saturday and I partner Nobel Joshua for Gordon (Elliott) in the opener. He was well beaten on his hurdling debut here but didn’t have the best of experiences and was nearly taken out of the race at the first when badly hampered. Hopefully he’ll have a better time of things here.

EASY WORK (12.25pm)

A nice prospect who makes his debut over hurdles. Had two spins in bumpers and won really nicely in Down Royal earlier this month. He won with plenty in hand that day on soft ground and hopefully won’t be inconvenienced by the more testing heavy ground that’s forecast. Wears a hood as he gets a little high over his jumps – should come on for the experience and then we’ll see what we’ve got.

PALOMA BLUE (2.10pm)

Not much between the five runners here on official ratings and I’m looking forward to riding Paloma Blue again who ran a cracker for me back in 2018 when fourth in the Supreme at Cheltenham. He’s back over fences again after a disappointing effort over hurdles last time out at Punchestown but I think he’s a better chaser now and hopefully we’ll see more sparkle today.

MONKSHOOD (2.45pm)

This looks one of the best beginners chases of the season so far and I’m including Faugheen’s race last week in that. It’s top notch with the likes of Laurina and Minella Indo in the field. I’m riding Monkshood for the first time. He broke blood vessels on his chasing debut here in February and came back with a run at Galway last month in a handicap hurdle. This is a deep contest though.

Good Luck
DAVY


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