DAVY RUSSELL: Naas Sat / Navan Sun

A quick word on Envoi Allen who did everything we asked for last weekend in Down Royal when he made a winning start over hurdles. He jumped really well and he remains a really exciting prospect for the season ahead.

Not such good news yesterday. I took a tumble on Thisonesforollie at Thurles – he was still in the lead when falling two out and I’ve been left a little sore.

There’s no jumps racing in Ireland today so I’m making the most of the day off and just about to get some ocean therapy. It’s handy living next to the beach and I’ll go waist high into the sea and also get some physio later on today.

It’s a cracking weekend of jumping action at Naas and Navan and I’ve got some exiting rides to look forward to.

SATURDAY

NAAS

ORNUA (Poplar Square Chase 1.05pm)

He was the first leg of my Grand National Day double and part of a day I’ll never forget when he won the Grade 1 Doom Bar last season. That was on good ground and whilst he should be fine on soft I’d be a bit worried about if gets on the heavy side. He puts an awful lot into his races and that takes it out of them when the ground gets too deep. The Grade 1 penalty is not ideal either in a very competitive race, despite him just having the four rivals.

LONGHOUSE POET (2.50pm)

A nice spare ride to pick up as he looks a decent prospect and I’m looking forward to sitting on him for the first time. He’s won a point at Boulta and then won a bumper at Punchestown back in May. This is a big field though with plenty of lightly raced sorts who will no doubt improve plenty.

SUNDAY

NAVAN

CHERIF DE L’ISLE (12.05pm)

A terrific days racing starts with this handicap hurdle and we’re on a bit of a fact finding mission with Cherif De L’Isle who is having his first start for Gordon (Elliott) and hasn’t raced for nearly two years. He’s quite a fragile horse and we’ll know much more about his level after this race.

SOLDIERS HILL (1.35pm)

This looks very competitive and my fella might just want better ground. He’s recently finished fourth for me twice now in big field maidens and there are plenty of dangers lurking here including Andy Dufresne who looked good when winning a Down Royal bumper by 10 lengths and is starting out over hurdles here.

DOCTOR PHOENIX (2.10pm Fortria Chase)

He had a brilliant season in 2018 but has just struggled to hit those heights since. He struggled for me at Cork last time out and needs to bounce back here against his younger rivals. The Willie Mullins trained Arkle winner Duc Des Genievres looks the obvious danger on his seasonal debut in a red hot race.

I’M A GAME CHANGER (3.15pm)

Having his first start for Gordon here since joining from Philip Hobbs. This looks very nearly Listed level on paper with some exciting jumping prospects. I’m A Game Changer was a very decent hurdler and a winner on soft ground and we hope that will stand him good stead for his first attempt over the larger obstacles.

Good Luck
DAVY


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