DAVY RUSSELL: Punchestown Saturday

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]nother busy weekend ahead with me riding at Punchestown on Saturday and then on to Fairyhouse on Sunday.

As usual I will update my Sunday’s thoughts in a new blog published later on Saturday.

For now I’m looking ahead to Punchestown where the card features the Grade 2 Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle.




This is officially a Grade 3 but on paper only. Unofficially it’s as close to a Grade 1 as you can get looking at the quality of the field. My ride, The Storyteller, has done absolutely nothing wrong but undoubtedly is in at the deep end here. He proved his stamina over this trip on testing ground with a smooth win over Sutton Manor (winner since) at Fairyhouse. I’m hopeful my fella can put up a bold show but there are plenty of major dangers lurking. Willie Mullins has three entered including Invitation Only and Koshari who both won last time out. If there is a dark horse in the race I think it could be Mossback who relished the ground when winning well and springing a surprise the last day at Naas. He looks to be improving at a rate of knots.

MENGLI KHAN 2.10pm (Moscow Flyer)

He’s looking to bounce back after running out in a Grade 1 at Leopardstown over Christmas. Nothing came to light as to the reasons why and we are hoping it was nothing more than one of those things. Hopefully he will resume where we left off after Fairyhouse where he won the Grade 1 Royal Bond in impressive fashion. That said, this will be by no means easy with the Grade 1 penalty of 6lb. Both Getabird and Carter Mckay will be tough nuts to crack but I’m excited about being given the opportunity of riding Mengli Khan who very much remains an exciting prospect.


He makes his hurdling debut here having shown promise on his debut bumper start when third in heavy ground at Galway in October. This is obviously a far bigger test on his hurdles debut so we’ll know much more about him after this. I could name at least half a dozen dangers in the 17 strong field.

PAT’S OSCAR 3.20pm

Pat’s Oscar is one of those horses who always tries her best but then becomes a victim of her own consistency with the handicapper. So much so, that she now finds herself on a career high mark of 106 having struggled to get her head in front off lower marks. She’s sure to run her race again and certainly deserves another win.


There was a chance I could have come over to England to ride William Henry in the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton and by all reports he is going nicely at home. Things didn’t go according to plan over the bigger obstacles the last day, so he should relish being back over hurdles and should go well.

Back on Saturday looking ahead to Fairyhouse on Sunday.


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