Cossack on course for Navan

Tue 11th Dec 2012, 15:41
Don Cossack
Don Cossack
(Healy Racing Photos)
Gordon Elliott's exciting prospect Don Cossack will take his next step in a fascinating Navan Novice Hurdle on Sunday.

A winner of his last four starts under Rules, the gelding has already shown a liking for the County Meath track as he won a Grade Two bumper on this card last year and opened his account over hurdles with an effortless victory late last month.

Don Cossack could face nine rivals in this Grade One event over two and a half miles, almost half of whom hail from the leading stable of Willie Mullins.

His quartet are Touch The Eden, Pont Alexandre, Zuzka and Reine Angevine, while the remaining quintet have also all won races.

These include Noel Meade pair Busty Brown - winner of the Monksfield Novice Hurdle over course and distance - and Ally Cascade.

Mouse Morris' contender Rule The World, Colm Murphy's unbeaten Rye Martini and Seefood for Dessie Hughes complete the line-up.

"He's in good form, and all being well he'll run on Sunday," said Elliott of Don Cossack.

Jonjo O'Neill has given Get Me Out Of Here an entry in the Tara Hurdle - although he is also engaged in Saturday's Unicoin Homes Relkeel Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Successful at Fairyhouse in the spring but well-beaten by Oscar Whisky last time at Newbury, he would be a leading contender among a 11-strong field which includes Noel Meade's dual-purpose sorts Muirhead and Donnas Palm and Willie Mullins' Simenon, who won twice at Royal Ascot on the Flat but has not set the world alight over hurdles.

Russell takes Dundalk mount

Davy Russell is to make a surprise appearance on the Flat at Dundalk on Wednesday evening. One of jump racing's biggest names will have his first taste of the all-weather in order to give the Gordon Elliot-trained Discoteca a spin ahead of a possible challenge for The Ladbroke at Ascot next weekend. Russell did compete on the Flat when riding as an amateur at the start of this century, but has been restricted to just a couple of attempts in a Flat versus National Hunt jockeys competition a couple of years ago. "I think it's his first ride, and as the horse has got 10st 8lb, he can make the weight," said Elliott. "Davy also has his arrangement with Gigginstown Stud (owners of Discoteca)." Discoteca, who used to be trained by Andrew Balding, won four minor events on the bounce during the spring but has not been seen since finishing fourth in a novice race at the Galway Festival. He tackles the Christmas Party Nights At Dundalk Stadium Handicap over a mile and a half. Elliott said: "He has been off for a while, but if he shows something in this race then he'll go for The Ladbroke along with (Racing Post Hurdle third) Cause Of Causes."