Russell set for Alpha ride
Davy Russell is set to renew his alliance with Alpha Des Obeaux, which is to spearhead a three-pronged Mouse Morris assault in the Ladbrokes Munster National on Sunday.
The Gigginstown runner has been nicely backed in the past few days, punters suspecting that he can prove better than a rating of 145, considering he was second to Thistlecrack in the Stayers' Hurdle only last year.
Morris believes his novice chase campaign, which was disappointing, can be explained away.
"All my horses were not right last season, it's pretty simple really, but they are back in health now - they are pretty much all running well," the trainer said.
"I expect Donie McInerney will ride Rogue Angel. He should improve a good deal too - he wasn't right last year either. Dromnea is also in good nick and Mark Enright will ride him.
"Alpha Des Obeaux should run a big race, even if all mine take a run as a general rule," he added.
Meanwhile, there were scenes of excitement and shock yesterday at Tattersalls when Godolphin outbid arch rivals Coolmore and paid four million guineas for a yearling by Galileo out of Breeders' Cup winner Dank.
The filly will be expected to have a bright future for trainer John Gosden but that of rider Graham Gibbons looks less attractive.
He was suspended for a combined two and a half years yesterday after pleading guilty to swapping urine tests and providing a sample with a metabolite of cocaine at Kempton on December 7.
The jockey will not be able to reapply for a licence until June 8, 2019, with the two-year suspension for switching samples beginning on June 9 this year.
There was bad news too for Grand National winner One For Arthur, which has been ruled out for the season.
Elsewhere, France Galop, the French racing authority, has decided to come into line on interference rules with Britain, Ireland and most other major jurisdictions outside the USA. This comes after ten years of negotiations on the matter.
With Germany expected to change its stance in line with the new rule, France would have been left isolated outside individual US states.
Essentially, if a horse causes interference but does not improve its position in relation to the horse suffering the interference, the placings will remain unaltered henceforth.