Davy Russell: Hoping Hurricane Ben can follow up great run at Fairyhouse
The Betway ambassador previews day three at Punchestown, with the eight-year-old one of his best chances...
And so we move on to day three of the Punchestown Festival. I have four rides, although the races look very competitive.
It’s always difficult to win here and it would be great to get on the scoresheet.
Here are my thoughts on the eight-race card…
3.40pm: I don’t have a ride in the opening handicap hurdle, but it looks absolutely wide open.
Le Vagabond ran well at Cork last time, behind Roconga, and should run well again.
4.15pm: I won on Hurricane Ben at Fairyhouse on Easter Sunday and he was great that day.
He’s gone up 9lbs from that, which will make life more difficult, but the ground should be fine for him.
I suppose it’s a slight worry that this race is coming so soon, but he didn’t run over the winter so has been kept fresh for a spring/summer campaign.
It’s another competitive race.
Tully East was impressive at Cheltenham and I’m sure he’ll be hard to beat.
4.50pm: Enda Bolger has won five of the last ten runnings of the La Touche and his Cantlow will be hard to beat, especially with the drier ground.
5.30pm: The big race of the day is the Stayers’ Hurdle where I ride De Plotting Shed for Gordon Elliott.
He’s been pretty consistent and hasn’t run badly on his last two starts, but it’s going to be a very difficult race for him and he’d have to improve to finish in the money.
Nichols Canyon is the one we all have to beat. He was good at Cheltenham and I actually think he will improve going right-handed.
You’ve then got the likes of Sutton Place and Unowhatimeanharry ( ), so it’s a very good race.
6.05pm: I’m on Okotoks for Tony Martin in the three mile handicap hurdle. I don’t know much about him to be honest, but he looks to be on a nice mark.
He hasn’t run since Christmas so will be nice and fresh, but it looks another very strong handicap.
Noel Meade’s Showem Silver was an impressive winner at Fairyhouse last week and don’t rule out Art Of Security from the same yard as well.
6.40pm: I’m looking forward to getting back on Ordinary World ( ) who ran a good race in the Arkle last month.
The drier the ground the better, and you’d have to be hopeful, but Great Field ( ) looks like he’s going to be hard to beat.
He’s won all three starts over fences this season and has built up a good relationship with Jody McGarvey.
If you take him out of the race, it looks fairly open so fingers crossed.
7.15pm: I’m not riding in the mares' novice hurdle, but it’s hard to be confident about anything.
Willie has three runners, and for me the most interesting is Pravalaguna, who was running a big race at Naas when falling two out.
Gordon Elliott's Barra must also have a good chance, following her last two decent efforts.
7.45pm: Next Destination looks the one in the bumper.
He ran a cracker in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham, beaten just three lengths by Fayonagh.