AUTHOR: Star Sports Content

DAVY RUSSELL: Weekend Blog

I thought I’d begin this week’s blog with an update on my neck injury. I had a scan yesterday and things are starting to heal as the doctors would like. They are hoping to be able to remove the back and neck protectors in about six weeks time, so fingers crossed on that front. That should give me a lot more flexibility and will be a big step back to riding again. I am keeping fit, but as I am not allowed to drive, I am very reliant on my chauffeur (and wife) Edelle! 😂

It’s been really busy out and about on the farm with the kids, so the days seem to be flying past. Of course, I’ve been keeping a close eye on the racing and every time I see one of Gordon’s win, it drives me even more to get back in the saddle! There is plenty of good action on both sides of the Irish Sea this weekend at both Wincanton and Navan. Here are my thoughts on the big races at both tracks…



2.25pm – Rising Stars Novices’ Chase
Not many ‘Rising Stars’ take on the Grade 2 Novices’ Chase with all eyes on Paul Nicholls’ Grand Sancy. He looks the obvious one, but don’t rule out the rapidly improving Ga Law too quickly. Yes, he’s up against it here on paper, but he looks sure to give the favourite plenty to think about in receipt of a stone.

3.00pm – Elite Hurdle
The unseasonably fast ground means another small field with only the six in the Elite Hurdle. Gary Moore was going to run Goshen, but the fact that he now misses this leaves the stage clear for Sceau Royal. He looked good the last day and with conditions in his favour should be too good for these.

3.35pm – Badger Beers Silver Trophy Handicap Chase
The big race of the afternoon where all eyes will be on the top one Present Man who bids to win this for a third time. He obviously loves it around Wincanton and with Bryony back on him, he should be hard to beat again – despite the fact that he’s getting on a bit. Looking at the others and I thought Harry Fry’s Just A Sting could go well too. He seems better at this time of year and goes well fresh.



1.00pm – Lismullen Hurdle
A wide-open renewal of the Lismullen Hurdle where on paper Supersundae looks the obvious one. He’s a Grade One winner who was last seen in action when not beaten all that far in a Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham. This looks his ideal trip and he will be hard to oppose if in the same form. Cracking Smart has to be respected and is another who ran well at Cheltenham. He has plenty to do at the weights but shouldn’t be far away. Plenty of these are better suited by three miles with the likes of Relegate and Sire Du Berlais in that camp.

1.35pm – Troytown Handicap Chase
The feature race of the day is the Troytown which has its usual wide-open feel. Aforementioned will be on many shortlists after his recent successes, but he is climbing up the handicap now and will need to find more. The Jam Man is race fit from the flat and slips in here off a handy mark. He looks the most likely and comes here race fit too. Those of you looking for one to go well at a big price, don’t be surprised if Death Duty outruns his odds. He may have to shoulder topweight here, but Conor Orr takes off a valuable 5lbs and he is effectively running off a mark of 142.

2.10pm – Fortria Chase
On all known form A Plus Tard should take all the beating in this. However, he was beaten on his reappearance here last season and that has to be a worry in the back of your mind. Gordon runs Éclair De Beaufeu who ran a cracker to chase me home in the Grand Annual behind Chosen Mate (pictured) last time. He would have to improve a bit to take a race like this, but he’d have a serious squeak if the favourite isn’t fully tuned. Every drop of rain that falls will help Castlegrace Paddy who would like it bottomless!


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