Kaiser Black and Davy Russell in full flight
©Healy Racing Photos
By Alan Magee
Davy Russell made a dramatic return to action after five weeks off with a lung problem when partnering Kaiser Black to take the featured thetote.com Connacht National Handicap Chase at Roscommon.
The Pat Doyle-trained gelding has progressed rapidly over fences this year, winning the McHale Mayo National on his first handicap chase start at Ballinrobe a fortnight ago and following up here off a 15lb higher mark.
The top-weight was sent off the 7/2 favourite and jumped to the front at the penultimate fence before soon asserting to beat Master Appeal by a convincing four lengths. Na Trachtalai Abu was just a head back in third.
"It's great to be back and Pat (Doyle) is stocking up for next year (at Goffs Sales),” said a delighted Russell, who of course landed the Aintree Grand National this April on Tiger Roll.
The reigning champion jockey added, "Sometimes we can be very quick to be hard on handicappers but obviously that success today justifies his (15lbs) hike.
“He was always a horse who was crying out for good ground but is big and raw and I'd be worried about whether he'd run him on it. He is a lovely horse and Pat has done a marvellous job with him.
“Pat is adamant he stays on flat tracks and maybe he might have to go right-handed.”
The Germany gelding’s owner Martin O'Callaghan passed away in March and his son Chris, from Carrigaline Co Cork, said "I can't believe it and dad was looking down on us today!"
(TW & AM)