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Russell hits treble top

Davy Russell landed a treble at Punchestown initiated when Rubi Light made it three from three over fences with an all-the-way success in the Active Retirement Days Handicap Chase.

Robbie Hennessy's charge (5-2 favourite) impressed with his jumping to score in the style of a progressive performer.

The trainer said: "He may be better over further, but he can't go down the novice route as he won over fences in France before we bought him. He'll probably run next at Leopardstown over Christmas in either a handicap or a Listed chase."

Russell followed up on Magnanimity, who reversed the form of his fencing debut with fellow 9-4 joint-favourite Arabella Boy in the G.A.A. Fundraisers Beginners Chase.

Dessie Hughes's six-year-old wasn't entirely foot-perfect but still proved two lengths too strong, and is also bound for Leopardstown over the Festive period.

Hughes said: "He really needs three miles and did well to win over two and a half today. He goes on heavy ground and is a nice long-distance novice chasing prospect. He'll go for a three-mile novice chase at Leopardstown next."

The Gigginstown Stud colours were back in the winner's enclosure after Gordon Elliott's long-term absentee Beautiful Sound (5-1) completed the treble for Russell in the Thoroughbred Trails Handicap Chase.

The jockey looked like making it four as Days Ahead swung into the straight cruising behind the front-running Silas Mariner (9-4) in the Punchestown Christmas Market 3-Y-O Hurdle.

But Sabrina Harty's leader pulled out all the stops and held the staying-on Accidental Outlaw by three-quarters of a length, with Days Ahead only third.

The winner handler said: "Although he front-runs, he is quite idle and only picks up when others come to him. You never know how much he has left because of that. He'll make a very nice horse next year."


From Belfast Telegraph