Westland Row and Davy Russell
©Healy Racing Photos
By Thomas Weekes
Davy Russell continues to set the early pace in the Jump Jockeys’ Championship and the dual Champion steered the Gordon Elliott trained Westland Row to a third career win at Downpatrick today, in the Balloo Hire Centres Rated Hurdle.
Russell, who now leads 12-times Champion Ruby Walsh 38-26, send Westland Row to the front at the top of the hill and the pair maintained their lead to the line, where the held off Andratx by a length.
Elliott wasn’t present but his newly appointed assistant trainer and retired Grade 1 winning jockey Davy Condon later said “we were hopeful of a good run but obviously concerned because the trip was a little bit short for him.
"Davy gave him a brilliant ride, he stepped up going out the last circuit.
"Obviously he ran well around here before, he jumped great and the drying ground definitely helped.
"I'd say the last day he would have run a lot better in Galway only the ground turned up soft. Back on this sound surface he jumped well and won well. His jumping won it for him.
"Everything he does over hurdles will be a bonus because he's a big horse so he'll be a lovely chaser for next spring and summer.
"Gordon will find another race or two for him before the ground goes soft and then he'll be let off and will be a lovely chaser for next year."
Quotes from Michael Graham