Davy Russell is arguably the best rider to come out of Ireland since Ruby Walsh, and his longevity is amazing. His career in the saddle might come to an end soon, but he doesn’t get out of bed unless he thinks he can ride a winner.
It has to be hugely interesting that Russell will travel to Ballinrobe Racecourse on Tuesday to ride just one horse. One might think this horse is running in the feature Mayo National, but nope, he takes the ride on one in a beginners’ chase.
The horse that Russell will ride is Eskylane for trained Gordon Elliott. The last day I was at Ballinrobe was on the third of May, and all four of his horses were very disappointing. He will be looking to put the record straight here.
Eskylane brings some classy form to the table here and could be a class above on chasing debut. He split Assemble and Appreciate It in a Fairyhouse bumper, and finished fifth behind Ferny Hollow in the Cheltenham bumper that season.
He then beat Arkle second Gabynako over hurdles at Punchestown in October 2020, but he has been rather disappointing since then and has turned into a half decent handicapper. His only other win over hurdles came in a Down Royal handicap last October.
Eskylane is a former point winner, so he might now come into his own tackling fences under rules for the first time. He is still only an eight year old so he isn’t that old for a chaser. I doubt Davy Russell would be travelling up if he didn’t think the horse had a good chance.
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