PAT HEALY: In his latest blog Pat reflects on Davy Russell’s winning return, Paddy Harnett and Pat Foley continue to impress and could Impervious be Cheltenham bound?

Davy Russell’s return

A great friend of mine and mentor down the years was a man called Eric Browne. He was a Listowel man and a great character.

He worked as a bookmaker so was well known in racing circles and was someone that believed in piseogs; meaning he was superstitious.

Eric had a betting shop in Listowel and if you wore green when you came into the shop, he wouldn’t lay you a bet!

His son Berkie is a bookmaker now and he carries on the same tradition. If Berkie fancies a greyhound at the dogs, he doesn’t tie his shoelaces if he’s going to back it – it’s all piseogs!

I’d have a small bit of it myself, around the whole thing about Davy returning. Of course, it’s a great story and great for Davy and everyone involved, but I would just be awful afraid that he might pick up an injury or take a bad fall.

Being a jockey is the toughest game in the world. It’s not like they are walking onto a football pitch or a rugby pitch – they have two ambulances following them every race.

I just pray that everything goes smoothly for Davy and he doesn’t pick up a serious injury.

It was great to see Davy ride his first winner back on Sunday at Punchestown. I don’t know when he will go back into retirement, but I just hope he does so in one piece.

We wish him all the best of luck going forward.

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Paddy Harnett

Paddy had a double at Dundalk on Friday night for Luke Comer and Donnacha O’Brien.

He’s a native of Abbeyfeale in County Limerick and is a lovely kid, who always has a smile on his face.

We’ve mentioned Paddy in this blog before and it’s typical of the state of the game on the Flat, as there’s obviously a healthy batch of young lads coming through and looking to get going.

The Irish jockey colony is the strongest and best of its kind anywhere in the world, so young lads coming on the scene at 16 years of age need a lot of luck and to be in the right place at the right time.

Pat Foley

Pat trained the winner of the feature race at Fairyhouse on Saturday, with a horse called Rebel Gold.

Pat is the son of Tom Foley, the legendary trainer of Danoli, and I think Rebel Gold is just the type of horse a young man like him needs in the yard. He was very impressive on the day – the ground was very heavy in Fairyhouse, but he went to the line with the tank fairly full.

I’m sure Rebel Gold will capture more big races for Pat.

Impervious at Punchestown

Impervious (pictured below left) was bought from previous owner Paul McKeon by J. P. McManus after she won on her second chase start at Cork in early December, and she won well again at Punchestown on Sunday.

Her trainer Colm Murphy is excited about her. He’s had Cheltenham winners before with Big Zeb and of course Brave Inca, so he knows a good horse when he gets one.

Listening to Colm in the winners’ enclosure on Sunday, he thinks there’s plenty in the tank going forward.

I’m sure if she lines up at Cheltenham she’ll go off favourite, or close to it at least.

Until next week.

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