14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Opportunity knocks for RussellHeadlines

Davy Russell continued his irresistible winning spree when making a very rare visit to Kempton on Monday.

The stylish jockey had fashioned a Navan treble for his main employer Gigginstown Stud on Sunday, including on the exciting prospect Don Cossack, and his only ride here was aboard Knockfierna in the Listed OLBG Mares' Hurdle.

Trainer Charles Byrnes felt he had spotted a loophole in the programme book across the Irish Sea as this multiple Graded winner of both novice hurdles and chases was well treated on her return to smaller obstacles after a couple of slightly perplexing outings over fences.

Russell bustled along Knockfierna (11-4) from a long way out but received the response he wanted and she came two and a half lengths clear of Miss Milborne after the final flight. While Russell recalled winning a race at the Sunbury track a few years ago for Emma Lavelle, it was Limerick-based Byrnes' first Kempton runner.

Byrnes said: "The conditions of the race appealed because she's a fair hurdler back in Ireland, but she wasn't penalised for this. Apart from Quevega, she'd be as good as any other mare and if there was a chance she could get in the first half dozen at Cheltenham (in the mares' hurdle), you'd have to consider it.

"The clerk of the course says there is a race back here on December 27 and we'll have a look at that. I wouldn't rule out another run over fences, maybe in the spring."

Nicky Henderson has been forced to endure some knocks over recent days and his woes continued when 1-5 favourite Snake Eyes was beaten in front of watching owner JP McManus in the Halcyon Gallery British Stallion Studs EBF "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle.

This race was taken by no lesser stablemates than Bobs Worth and Darlan in the last two years so Snake Eyes may yet take high rank. He looked a smart recruit when cruising past Minella Definitely and into the lead at the final flight. However, Daryl Jacob refused to let him have it easy and got the 20-1 shot back in front and a neck ahead.

Winning trainer Neil Mulholland said: "To be fair, I possibly thought he could be second today as Daryl thought the horse hurt himself at Chepstow last time and looked after him. I showed him to the owner last Friday and he looked a different horse."

Henderson said of Snake Eyes: "Obviously it is soft ground and he did everything right up until the last. As JP said, 'He's still a maiden for another day'."

1 December 2015

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Oliver Sherwood cool on Gold Cup for National hero Many Clouds
Donald McCain 'not a believer' of Grand National time change
Gordon Elliott to swerve Kempon raid with No More Heroes
Paul Nicholls sets Rocky Creek Grand Sefton challenge at Aintree
Perfect 10 in John Durkan at Punchestown
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Andy Stewart targets As De Mee reign in Henry VIII at Sandown
Henry de Bromhead dominates Leopardstown Christmas entry
Gold Cup victor Coneygree tops Lexus entries at Leopardstown
Harry Whittington sets Kempton task for Newbury hero Arzal
Jack Berry among nominations for Lesters awards
Wayne Hutchinson hoping for further Smad Place success
Chase plans on hold for Thistlecrack following Newbury verdict
Shantou Flyer set Cheltenham Festival target by Colin Bowe
Barry Connell delighted by Gwencily Berbas run
Rashaan connections eager to hang on to juvenile star
Aintree confirm later slot for Grand National
Jim Dreaper excited by Becher Goon show at Aintree
Bobs Worth camp consider return to hurdling
Nicky Henderson sidesteps Tingle Creek with Sprinter Sacre
Vroum Vroum Mag revved up for possible Huntingdon raid
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Road To Riches and Apache Stronghold to duck Durkan, says Noel Meade
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30 November 2015

Violet Dancer hot to trot at Plumpton
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Un De Sceaux heads Tingle Creek field for Willie Mullins
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Victoria Pendleton eager for further point-to-point experience
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Gitane Du Berlais outgunned by Emily Gray at Carlisle
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Victoria Pendleton fails to complete on first ride over fences
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29 November 2015

Ascot option for Harry Fry's Thomas Brown
Victoria Pendleton makes point-to-point debut in Devon
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Alan King bowled over by Hennessy hero Smad Place
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28 November 2015

Thistlecrack goes the Distance at Newbury
Willie Mullins hands Gitane Du Berlais Carlisle assignment
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Identity Thief faces acid test in Fighting Fifth
Kasakh Noir puts down early Cheltenham marker with Newbury success
Warren Greatrex backs Cole Harden to go the Distance at Newbury
Harry Fry calls time on Rock On Ruby career due to injury
Willie Mullins says Wicklow Brave is fighting fit for Newcastle date

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