Social media and the usual racing tabloids have been in over-drive this week speculating why former champion jockey Davy Russell was seemingly out of favour by owners Gigginstown House stud at the Down Royal festival.
Back-two-back Grand National winning rider Russell is out in a class of his own; rarely does the County Cork native make an error on any of his rides; he just gets the job done, perhaps sometimes his interviews comes across egotistical but in a whole Davy Russell is one of racing’s good guy’s.
His charity work with Jim Bolger on the ‘Hurling for Cancer’ match yearly has really shown his true colours. What a great incentive by him to be invloved.
Back to the much-gossiped subject; The Two-day festival up north at the maze. Russell wasn’t retained for any off the star contenders under the ownership of Gigginstown; under first impressions you would say another bubble has been burst by titleholders who undoubtedly don’t care about friends in this dog-eat-dog game; as the old saying goes “it’s show business, not friend business”’ though on closer scrutinising the most coherent reason for Russell’s absenteeism on their horses could be down to a more apparent element.
The bulk of Gigginstown’s big weapons at this two-day festival had a big weight to carry, and the dependable jockey Keith Donoghue, who is a very vital figure in the backroom of this operation is incapable to sweating to the regular weights was able to do them. This has been something of a rarity for Donoghue; Who turned his back on the sport a few seasons ago predominantly because of the weight issue.
Donoghue is a massively involved cog in the homework of the Gigginstown’s horses at Gordon Elliott’s and infrequently does this County Meath man have the fortuitous chance to get to ride them in the big festivals. I am not suggestive that Down Royal is a big festival, though I am expressive Donoghue has been given a great book of rides this weekend principally because they were all allocated weights well-matched to him, he won’t have many weekends like this.
Gigginstown are a confidential operation, to a certain degree they let everyone come up with their own conclusions on them – for the reason that as long as everyone in the ‘trust circle’ is informed, what business is it of ours’s to know what is going on. Russell is long enough in the game to grasp what is going on. He isn’t out of favour. Gigginstown are just giving others a chance.