Tuesday 16 July 2019

Russell and Elliott keep rolling with Monatomic

Davy Russell will bid for back-to-back Aintree Grand Nationals on Tiger Roll. Photo: PA
Davy Russell will bid for back-to-back Aintree Grand Nationals on Tiger Roll. Photo: PA

Thomas Kelly

Davy Russell's purple patch continued at Tramore yesterday as he made his first ride since landing the Grand National on Tiger Roll a winning one when scoring on Decision Time.

Congratulated by well-wishers on his way to partner the John Kiely-trained seven-year-old, Russell gave Decision Time a patient ride in the opening mares maiden hurdle.

He brought the 13/8 favourite with a perfectly-timed run, after being held up for most of the race, to lead just before the final flight. Beliou Le Fume put in a late bid, but Decision Time was three-quarters of a length too good at the line for a delighted Kiely.

Kiely said: "It's a thrill to be able to give Davy his first winner after yesterday. I doubted that he would turn up today, because he was dragged here and there and everywhere. He gave Tiger Roll a great ride. It's lovely to witness sport like this."

He added of the winner: "She is a nice mare, she would probably like better ground, but she is after winning over hurdles now, which is nice."

Just half an hour later, Russell was in the winners' enclosure again with a quick-fire double when guiding Monatomic to victory in the following maiden hurdle over two miles and five furlongs.

From the National-winning team of owners Gigginstown House Stud and trainer Gordon Elliott, Monatomic (9/2) jumped into the lead at the second last. However, the pack closed in and the five-year-old was all out to hold Kingsteel and Touch Base by a short head and the same in a driving finish.

Russell said: "I was a winner everywhere, but the line was my most worrying point. He just lugged out a little bit, I'd say he was watching the horse on his outside. It's grand to get a mark for him now, as he had been struggling."

Russell sits out the action at the Tramore track today but there's no rest for title-chasing Elliott and teenager Jack Kennedy will hope to fire another winner for the Meath trainer with Sometimes A Fox in the opening Bulmers Cider Maiden Hurdle (4.45) although it could go the way of Freedom Chimes for Margaret and David Mullins.

Keith Donoghue takes the mount on Hurricane Volta in the Lamps Maiden Hurdle (5.15) but the seven-year-old faces a stiff task and it's very hard to see past French recruit Winter Soldier for title rival Willie Mullins.

The father and son duo of Adrian and Finian Maguire will be hoping Littlestickarubarb can follow up his smooth Cork success earlier this month in the Becks Lager Handicap Hurdle (5.50) while Philip Rothwell's Shanklys Dawn should go close in the 5 Lamps Handicap Chase (6.50).

The Bulmers Cider Bumper (7.50) looks a decent finale but Willie Mullins' Dorrells Pierji may have enough to score on debut under Patrick Mullins.

Irish Independent

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