Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 20 January 2018

Rocky Wednesday can keep Russell on a roll

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Davy Russell can continue his excellent run of form in the colours of Gigginstown Stud when he partners Rocky Wednesday in the opener at Downpatrick today.

Russell's three winners for the Michael O'Leary enterprise at Punchestown during the week saw him stretch his lead over Paul Carberry at the top of the riders' table to seven and Rocky Wednesday looks poised to further enhance that advantage in the William Hill Maiden Hurdle.

The Gordon Elliott-trained four-year-old fell on his jumping debut in January, but went on to be placed in two graded races at Fairyhouse.

He then made little impact behind Grandouet in the four-year-old Champion Hurdle at Punchestown, but he remains a horse with some potential.

Of the four that take on Rocky Wednesday, King Of Aran, second to Teak here in September, is next best.

In the subsequent maiden, Jack Bene appeals as the most likely winner for Henry de Bromhead and Philip Enright. The presence of Sun Fisher and Glibin ensure that this is a far more open contest, but Jack Bene performed to a decent standard last term.

A son of Beneficial, he was placed in each of his four completed starts, including when third off a mark of 114 at Fairyhouse over Easter. If he can operate to a similar level on his seasonal bow here, he is the one to beat.

Also fancied at the northern venue is Dessie Hughes' White Star Line in the two-mile-seven-furlong beginners' chase. While Willie Mullins' fencing debutant Rockyaboya is respected, the selection's effort to be fourth behind De Valira at Listowel on its first try at the bigger obstacles was of real merit.

On the day's Flat card at Cork, Rock And Roll Kid can continue his recent progress to secure the day's feature, a €40,000 Listed race over a mile.

Tony Mullins' charge faces opposition from most of the major stables, but wins at The Curragh and Leopardstown last month suggested he would be deserving of a result in this grade.

In the subsequent juvenile race, Hail, third on its Navan debut, should improve to collect for Aidan O'Brien and his son Joseph.

Irish Independent

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