Resilient Russell shines with Gowran Park double
REIGNING champion jockey Davy Russell showed the determination that earned him last season's title by working hard for a double at Gowran Park yesterday.
The Cork native had to get down to work in the closing stages in both races to record his brace in the Gigginstown House Stud colours on Discoteca and Maxim Gorky. The Gordon Elliott-trained Discoteca was sent off the 8/13 favourite for the opening conditions hurdle in the absence of stable companion His Excellency, but had to pull out all the stops on ground that was probably too soft for him.
The four-year-old had market rival Casimir Road for company over the final two flights and responded well to Russell's urgings to forge clear by three-quarters of a length on the run-in.
Winner number two for Russell came on Noel Meade's Maxim Gorky in the Goresbridge Maiden Hurdle, aided by the exit of favourite Thomas Edison which came down when going well at the second-last flight.
Too Scoops had been in front all the way and fought hard to retain his position, but Maxim Gorky just had his measure after the last and the 4/1 shot edged a neck clear and then survived a stewards' inquiry.
The day's richest race was the Jack Duggan Memorial Handicap Hurdle and it went to the Tom Foley-trained Golanbrook, with the well-backed 5/1 shot leading two out under Barry Geraghty before fending off He's Our Man by three lengths.
John Joe Walsh's Tellherimnothere (9/2) has been knocking on the door for a while and it finally opened in the two-mile maiden hurdle. She was sent on after the third-last by Ambrose McCurtin and beat Moiqen by an untroubled six lengths. Colin Bowe's Tango Moll was another consistent mare which finally broke her duck in the Paulstown Maiden Hurdle as Barry O'Neill took her to the front some way out before staying on well to win by four lengths.
The day's most eye-catching winner was Paddy Mooney's lightly-raced outsider Wooly Tom which arrived late under Martin Mooney to take the Callan Handicap Hurdle by three lengths.
And fresh from his second Royal Ascot winner after Simenon won again on Saturday, Willie Mullins took the bumper with Peking To Paris in the hands of son Patrick.