DAVY RUSSELL: Navan Saturday

It’s been a quiet week so far but that changes over the weekend with plenty to look forward to at Navan on Saturday and at Punchestown on Sunday.  I’ll be back on Saturday evening looking ahead to my Sunday rides, including Presenting Percy in a great renewal of the John Durkan at Punchestown.

Aside from the racing, it’s a busy month with some awards nights coming up and of course the countdown to Christmas.

I was very pleased with the way Envoi Allen got the job done in the Royal Bond last weekend at Fairyhouse. As I said beforehand, it looked a very strong renewal and so it proved. He’s doing everything we are asking from him but he still needs to improve as his toughest Grade 1 assignments are ahead of him.

I was also delighted to win on The Storyteller at Clonmel on Thursday. He only got going really late on which is what he did at Far Hills in the American Grand National before unseating me at the last. It was nice to get the job done this time.

Big race in England is the Tingle Creek at Sandown. I don’t want to look beyond Defi Su Seuil who I was very impressed with at Cheltenham last month. There’s no better man onboard than Barry Geraghty who excels with two mile chasers. They can see off the challenge of the two previous winners of the race Un De Sceaux and Politologue.

SATURDAY

NAVAN

FESTIVAL D’EX (12.05pm)

I’ve only cantered him at home but he’s done plenty of schooling ahead of his debut over hurdles. He was very impressive when winning his only bumper at the Punchestown Festival for Jamie Codd (pictured) on similar ground to what he will face today – so its fingers crossed he can build on that early promise and get off to a good start over obstacles. It’s a huge field of 26 runners in this opener with a few that already have the experience of a jumps run.

COOLAGH PARK (12.35pm)

Another one having his first start over hurdles. He’s a fine big horse who was second at Ballinrobe in a bumper back in May. We don’t really know yet how much ability he has, so this will very much be a fact finding mission. It’s another big field and stable companion Column Of Fire has plenty of experience now.

MYTH BUSTER (1.35pm)

He had a tough task on his chase debut at Down Royal in the race won by Samcro. He ran OK for me but needs to improve and hopefully his jumping will be better today. A big field and there are dangers all over.

I’M A GAME CHANGER (2.10pm)

We’re not sure yet which race he will go for as he also has an entry in the beginners chase at Punchestown on Sunday which will obviously be an easier option than this Grade 3. He’s a high class horse but his jumping does need to improve. It let him down last time here over this trip when he had an unlucky fall at the 7th when going well enough for me.

BEN DUNDEE (2.45pm)

This is his first run back but he has been doing plenty of work so fitness shouldn’t be a concern. He’s just had the three runs this year and ran cracking races at both the Cheltenham and Punchestown Festivals. He usually runs well fresh so we’ll hopefully have good spin round.

Good Luck
DAVY


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