DAVY RUSSELL: Thurles and Fairyhouse

I have to start with a word on Envoi Allen last Sunday in the Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle. He really is an absolute professional of a racehorse and keeps on improving. It was a new test for him over the longer trip but he delivered again and I’m very happy to be associated with him.

I’m travelling to Thurles on Friday for one ride in the Listed race and then a busier day on Saturday at Fairyhouse.

In the UK it’s a shame we won’t be seeing Altior in the Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton which I guess leaves the door open for Top Notch but as we’ve seen before Frodon is a real battler and I’m sure we’ll see a proper race.

FRIDAY

THURLES

ARD ABHAINN (2.25pm Boreen Belle Mares Novice Hurdle Listed)

Just the one ride for me today and hopefully Ard Abhainn can go close. The slight concern might be that she is back in trip to the minimum as she’s been running well over longer trips, including when third at Listed level the last day at Punchestown. It looks a competitive race with dangers including the Willie Mullins trained Rebel Og and Heaven Help Us who has been running in some of the top races for mares.

SATURDAY

FAIRYHOUSE

GEALACH (12.25pm)

I was very pleased with the way he won for me in Punchestown the last day – it was a big effort and even though this doesn’t look the strongest of contests it still will probably need him to improve again. Aramax is back after falling last time out in Leopardstown in the race in which Wolf Prince (runs here) was an 18 length second to Aspire Tower.

FLYING RISK (1.00pm)

Won her debut bumper at Limerick but found life much tougher at Huntingdon on her second start when sixth in a Listed bumper. Starts her hurdling career here today and hopefully she’ll put in a good round. It’s a big field of mares and quite a few have the advantage of experience too, including the Willie Mullins trained Jazzaway.

DOCTOR PHOENIX (2.10pm Dan & Joan Moore Memorial)

At the age of 12 he’s not the force he was but proved there will still some fire in his belly when a good second for me here in November behind stable companion Avenir D’Une Vie. He always seems to run well here at Fairyhouse but this is a very competitive chase.

CHOSEN MATE (2.45pm)

I thought he jumped very well at Leopardstown when third to Melon over Christmas and that was a very pleasing start over fences. Hopefully he’ll know more after that and progress further.

Good Luck
DAVY


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