After a quiet time with the weather, it is great to see everything is really getting going again with a brilliant festive period of racing ahead.
Obviously, Davy Russell retired during the week, and he went out on a high with a winner from one of his great allies in Gordon Elliott. What Davy has achieved in the saddle is unbelievable, and he is without a doubt in my mind one of the greatest national hunt jockeys of all time.
Davy was a role model in the weighing room and is someone we all looked up to as he is a real leader. What stood out to me is his longevity and the fact that he stayed at the top of our game for so long. Davy Russell is a credit to racing and is no doubt a major source of pride to everyone who surrounds him.
There are two divisions in the Irish weighing room, one side is with the Paul Fox valets and the other is with the Cleary valets. I am with the Clearys, and I always sat quite close to Davy. I have to say, he is a great character to have around, and a great man to tell a story!
He will be sorely missed, and like everyone in racing, I wish him the absolute best on whatever he turns his hands to next.
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For the week we’re in, we thought the focus of this article should be the festive racing ahead – so here are my four horses to follow over Christmas when logging into your horse racing betting accounts
He is in a maiden hurdle on Boxing Day, and he is a lovely horse. He has already won two bumpers for Willie Mullins, and he took the big sales bumper at Fairyhouse on his second start. He won that easily by 11 lengths, but the second, Itso Fury, has won a few races over in England. The third, So Scottish, is a highly-rated chaser for Emmett Mullins.
Even with just a bare look at this form, he looks a lovely prospect over hurdles, and his work at home is quite nice as well. He should have a big future for Simon Munir & Isaac Souede and should be of interest if taking a look at the markets on horse racing betting sites.
This is another lovely prospect, and this time owned by Susannah Ricci, who was bought after finishing third in a hurdles race in France. He is a lovely, big scopey horse, with some nice form already to his credit. The horse that he finished third behind has gone on to win three Grade 3s and finished second in a Grade 1.
He goes very well at home and gives you a great feel. He gives you the impression when you ride him that he could be particularly good. The ground will not matter a whole lot to him as he ran well that day in Compiegne on heavy going, and if we get the usual Limerick winter conditions, he should really enjoy it.
I just thought this lad ran a cracker last time on his reappearance when only beaten four-and-a-half lengths by Mighty Potter. This rode like a good renewal.
He has options, as he could go to Limerick or Leopardstown, and I think he would go well in both, although you would have to think they will probably go to Leopardstown.
Another Susannah Ricci horse, and he ran last time at Fairyhouse behind Better Days Ahead, but that does not tell the full story. He gave Patrick a terrible time of it in the saddle, He hung desperately out to his left, and when he finally got the outside lane to keep him straight, he flew home.
I really feel going left-handed will suit him far, far better obviously, and we will see a much better horse. I am happy to forgive him for the last day!