DAVY RUSSELL: Punchestown Thursday

There’s only one place to start and that is with Ruby Walsh who announced his retirement after his cracking ride on Kemboy in the Punchestown Gold Cup, To be honest, I’m still a bit shocked because I never thought he’d retire straight away as he’s been riding so well.

However, he’s going out right at the very top of his game, after another masterclass ride and he can be very proud of all he has achieved and goes out with the respect of all of us in the weighing room.

Ruby is a gentleman and we will miss riding against him.

Three places from my four rides on Wednesday. The Big Dog is still improving and chased home Zero Ten in the opener, Days Without End was gifted second when Vision D’Honneur came down at the last but Elimay won the race well and I was delighted to see The Storyteller put in a much better round to stay on for third in the Punchestown Gold Cup. Back to the course on Thursday for five rides.



MOON OVER GERMANY (4:15 Pigsback.com Handicap Chase)

It’s taken a while for him to find his form but he was very impressive when winning the Grade 3 Red Rum at Aintree the last day. He’s taken a hammering by the handicapper since and is pitched in here into a very competitive race. He won’t mind any further rain and if in the same kind of form as he was at Aintree he should run a big race.

DORTMUND PARK (5:30 Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle (Grade 1))

He needs to return to the same kind of form that saw him win here last year when he won the Champion Novice Hurdle by 10 lengths on soft ground. He hasn’t shown much sparkle in his two races this season but they have both come on good ground so he is another one who would appreciate any rain before race time. Gordon (Elliott) also saddles Cracking Smart and Prince Of Scars in what looks a wide open Grade 1 with three UK raiders including Aux Ptits Soins who won a competitive Grade 3 Handicap in Aintree.

ELWOOD (6:05 Conway Piling Handicap Hurdle)

So competitive with the maximum 25 runners and to be honest it’s the sort of race that you could finish sixth in and think you’ve had a good spin. My fella Elwood showed much better form for me at Cork in March when chasing home Ronald Pump. I was pleased to see that form took a decent boost when the winner went on to win a much more competitive handicap at Fairyhouse last week. Elwood should still progress as he’s lightly raced and hopefully we can get involved but, back to where I started, it’s ridiculously competitive.

ORNUA (6:40 Ryanair Novice Chase (Grade 1))

He was part of a day I’ll never forget when giving me a win on Grand National Day in the Grade 1 Doom Bar Maghull Novices’ Chase (pictured). I made all the running on him that day and he was very game at the finish. This looks a stiffer test though. There are Grade 1’s and there are Grade 1’s and this looks real deep end stuff and a big test for the novices. It’s always a tough ask to win multiple Grade 1’s – it takes exceptional horses. Joseph’s (O’Brien) Us And Them was second to us at Aintree but not beaten far and keeps on running his race. If the official ratings are right, we’ve something to find with English raider Defi Du Seuil and the Willie Mullins trained pair Chacun Pour Soi and of course Duc Des Genievres who bolted home in the Arkle.

BLACK TEARS (7:15 Close Brothers Mares Novice Hurdle (Listed))

She ran well for me at Fairyhouse in a Grade 1 the last day and renews rivalry with Elfile who finished just in front of us in the race won by Honeysuckle. The race was only 11 days ago so I guess it will be largely dependent on which mare has come out of it the best. Both Emily Moon and Moskovite also ran in the Fairyhouse race whilst Harry Fry’s Deadringerforlove is up in grade but seems to be progressing nicely.

Good Luck

If you have a question for Davy drop us a line at content@starsportsbet.co.uk and we’ll try and include in the next blog…