AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

DAVY RUSSELL: Punchestown Saturday/Sunday

There has been plenty written and said over the last few days about my relationship with Gigginstown and because I ride a few for them this weekend I am now supposedly ‘back in favour’.

As I have said all along, there was never a falling out and they use a big pool of very talented jockeys with no single retained first rider.

It’s completely up to them who they choose to be on their horses and from my point of view, I’m just delighted to ride them when asked.

I think a fair mountain has been made out of a molehill and it’s just nice to be able to move on.
I’m at Punchestown on Saturday for four nice rides…




My first ride of the day is Flawless Escape who was running a nice race last time when he came down at the last. It would be great to get a clear round in this, but he will need to step up to beat some exciting new jumping recruits. All eyes will be on Faugheen who makes his chasing debut and if he can convert a fraction of his hurdling skills to the bigger obstacles, he will take some beating.


Has two nice runs over fences under his belt already and was particularly impressive at Wexford the last day. He steps into Grade Two company here but deserves to take a chance in a race like this. He is an exciting young horse who will hopefully continue on an upward curve against some useful types.

Morgiana Hurdle (2.00pm)

No ride for me in the feature race where Klassical Dream looks the one to beat. He looked a good prospect last season when winning the Supreme at the Cheltenham Festival and we will know if he is a genuine Champion Hurdle contender after this. That said, he won’t have it all his own way with the likes of Sharjah up against him.


He won his bumper nicely at Thurles the last day and makes his hurdling debut in a big field here. It’s hard to know what you are up against and there look some useful types in opposition.


There was a bit of confusion as to whether I am riding Ocean Voyage or Holy Motivation in the handicap hurdle and to be honest there isn’t much between the pair. I missed the ride on Ocean Voyage the last day because of injury and carries top-weight for a reason as she has a fair bit of ability, but this will be a tough task because of that. The form book gives her the edge over those beneath her, but she has to carry two stone more than plenty of these. Holy Motivation couldn’t travel to Ayr last time but was in great form in September and if she can reproduce those efforts, she must have a chance.

There is some great racing over at Cheltenham on Saturday – if the weather behaves itself! Here are my thoughts on the big race of the day….

BetVictor Gold Cup (2.25pm)

If the meeting gets the green light, the ground will be very testing so there could easily be a shock. Siruh Du Lac looks a worthy favourite, but I like the look of David Pipe’s Eamon An Cnoic. He wasn’t far behind the favourite at the Festival last year and will love the ground.



I’ve got three rides on Sunday…

BARRA (1.05pm)

She’s a nice mare who hasn’t had the best of luck over fences so is back over hurdles now. Having fallen in two of her last three starts it would be nice to get her confidence up. There are only the five runners and the Mullins team look to hold the aces with Stormy Ireland and Eglantine Du Seuil.


I ride Hereditary Rule for Gordon (Elliott) in the maiden hurdle. He likes it soft and shaped with promise at Tramore the last day. The soft ground is a positive as is the step up in trip. I guess it’s just how good the opposition are as the top two look interesting new recruits.


I’m really looking forward to riding Battleoverdoyen who made a really pleasing start to his chasing career at Galway last month. This will require a lot more, but he deserves the step up into a race like this. He has a bright future and hopefully this will be a steppingstone on to further success. You have to take one race at a time though and there are some useful types up against us.

Good Luck

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