AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

DAVY RUSSELL: Haydock Saturday

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he busy Christmas period starts for me with an early alarm call on Saturday for a flight over to Manchester en route to Haydock where I have three booked rides.

The opener is at 11.50am !! I’ll be back with another blog on Saturday looking ahead to my rides on St Stephen’s Day which are being finalised earlier on Saturday.

One thing I can say is that I won’t be coming over to Kempton to ride Whisper though as I have commitments back home here in Ireland.

But first Haydock ….




Nicky Richards couldn’t be in better form (another winner at Ayr on Friday) and I’m pleased to pick up this spare ride on a real mudlark which he’ll need to be with heavy ground forecast.

He won this same race two years ago when the going was also heavy. I’m riding him for the first time but I would have thought if he can run as well as he did when third at Ayr on his reappearance this season, he should give me a good spin.


The filly has a bit to find with Cap Soleil who finished 2 1/2 lengths in from of her at Haydock but she should relish both the ground and the step up in trip of nearly three furlongs. It’s an ideal opportunity for her to pick up some Black Type being a Listed race but despite the small field it’s competitive with Willie Mullins sending over Court Artist who is another proven on testing ground.

FULL IRISH 2.45pm (Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase)

I was very taken by the style of his recent win at Lingfield where he handled both the step up in trip and testing ground well. That was his first run over this kind of trip and although the handicapper has had his say with an 8lb hike he won in such a manner to think that might be manageable. If he turns up in the same kind of form as Lingfield he should run a big race in this good quality event for trainer Emma Lavelle who has had a couple of winners in the last week.

Ascot 2.25 (Long Walk Hurdle)

Big race down at Ascot is the Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle and Unowhatimeanharry bids to repeat last year’s win in a race where previous winners have a good record. It will be interesting to see whether one of the newer kids on the block can stake a claim – as the stayers hurdle division is currently wide open as we saw with Beer Goggles springing a massive surprise when beating Unowhatimeanharry at Newbury. However, Harry Fry’s runner has no 6lb penalty to contend with this time and should take all the beating.


John Oakes asked:

Hi Davy,

What a great ride on Bless The Wings! My question – What do you think of the chance of Whisper in the King George at Kempton and which ride are you most looking forward to at the Cheltenham

Thanks John, I’m not sure even Mystic Meg would make any Cheltenham predictions this side of Christmas! As for Whisper in the King George, he is a high quality horse who fully deserves to take his chance at this level after his close second at Newbury. He’s a much stronger horse than he was last season but the form book tells you Might Bite has beaten him twice – but not by far. I think he has every chance of making it third time lucky.

If you have a question for Davy drop us a line at and we’ll try and include in the next blog…

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