herald

Saturday 20 October 2018

Russell could reign over my Little Princess

BATTLE ROYAL: Catwalk King,
ridden by Finny Maguire, can
score for Liz Doyle
BATTLE ROYAL: Catwalk King, ridden by Finny Maguire, can score for Liz Doyle

We are back in Fairyhouse today before all roads lead to Punchestown next week and while I'd be hopeful of bagging a winner with my only ride, that duo of Gordon Elliott and Davy Russell could be the thorn in our side.

I ride Little Princess for Jessie in the opening race and this is a good opportunity for her because she has improved a good bit from her run at Cork. However, Azua Emery just looks like she'll be hard to beat.

Jessie will run as many as possible at Punchestown next week so she's light with runners before that, as it is her favourite meeting, but Bennaway would have a chance in the last race at a good price.

The more the ground dries out the better chance he'd have and he's just a horse that seems to be getting stronger and progressing with each run this year. He might be there or thereabouts with Kate in the last.

Better

Elsewhere throughout the card I think Liz Doyle's Catwalk King could win the second maiden hurdle.

He has threatened to win a hurdle race before now and won't get many better opportunities than this. Liz has booked Adam Shortt to take the ride in the race confined to conditional jockeys and he would be as good as you could get in this type of race.

Robin The Hare has been placed on his last two starts and should be able to account for his eight rivals here under Brian Hayes.

Fresh from his Aintree heroics, Davy Russell can be back among the winners on I'm Serious for Denis Hogan, who has his team in fantastic order at the moment.

The National was a great race and I went to the homecoming parade in Summerhill on Sunday afternoon. It brought back some brilliant memories of Silver Birch's return there.

It's not the first party that Gordon has brought to the village and I definitely think it is safe to say that it won't be the last.

I was one of Tiger Roll's doubters, but he just goes to show that size doesn't always matter. Davy is now one of the few jockeys to have won both the Gold Cup and the Grand National and I was thrilled for him.

On Friday I head to Ayr to ride a couple for Colin Tizzard and I'll be there again on Saturday for the Scottish Grand National as well.

Declarations for Friday won't take place until this morning, so I'm not entirely sure what will run yet, but I'd say Mick Thonic and Sizing Platinum are two that will probably run there on Friday.

Mick Thonic skipped Aintree and needs to get back to his best to be a factor here, but he's had a wind operation and hopefully he can get back to his true form.

Sizing Platinum did run at Aintree and may reappear here before he goes on his summer holidays. He won at Newton Abbot earlier in the season and I'd be hoping there's a race in him like this.

Colin is readying his team for Punchestown as well. He had a great Punchestown last year and really enjoyed himself so he's sending over whatever he can next week.

Aintree being a bit closer this year will just mean he'll have to see closer to the time how they've come out of their races, but hopefully we'll have another good week together.

4.40 Azua Emery

5.15 Catwalk King

6.25 Robin The Hare

6.55 I'm Serious

7.55 Bennaway

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