It was a great weekend and it's always nice to ride two winners as good as Fury Road and Samcro. Horses like them two make losing those few pounds that bit easier!
I was delighted to get such brilliant opportunities, and I'm very thankful to Eddie and Michael O'Leary for putting me up. Obviously I have to thank Gordon as well for always believing in me and it was a great weekend for the yard on the whole.
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Superb Samcro & Fury Road
Fury Road was class, and riding a winner like that was no harm going into the weekend. Being a jockey is a confidence game, and getting one in the bank early is fantastic.
He jumped brilliantly and there wasn't one moment in the race where I didn't think I was going to win easily. Robbie Power sat on my girth for the first half of the race, and when he fell away Davy Russell came at me from the 4th last, but I just held onto him and Fury Road had more than enough to burn them all off.
I had him in my 10 to follow as I really believed in him and it was great to see him put it all together like that.
Name your distance!— Racing TV (@RacingTV) November 1, 2019
The well-regarded Fury Road makes a big impression on hurdles debut, a good start to a big few days for @donoghue_keith and @gelliott_racing at @Downroyal
Results ➡ https://t.co/glajGV55GRpic.twitter.com/F4dpnouXFl
He'll have absolutely no problem going up in trip to eventually face something like the Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham Festival, but he felt like he has more than enough gears as well if he ended up in the Ballymore. He offers us more options, which is always great.
We'll see how the rest of the novice hurdlers play out, but Fury Road is right up there with the best of them around after that.
Samcro won as he should've on the day and he didn't need to be at his best really to win that race. He gave me a great feel though and offered up plenty of spark.
He showed me plenty in the race, especially when he got head to head with one around the back - he showed speed and went on a few lengths again.
He travelled and jumped well, and even relaxed in front which was great as he doesn't do a tap when he gets a lead! I'm very happy with him and the Drinmore next time will be a big test.
I heard some people noting that Samcro jumped a bit to his right, but that wouldn't worry me much at all. I think he was just putting himself right at his fences as we were going too slow for him. He was just popping them, but in a race where they go a stride or two quicker he'll be winging them! At the last I pulled him to the right as I wanted him just to pop it and not do anything stupid.
If I hadn't squeezed him after the last he probably would have ended up working the next day at home - he did it that easy!
Samcro is back! 🎉— Horse Racing Ireland (@HRIRacing) November 1, 2019
"Class. I gave him a squeeze at the last and he just came alive." @donoghue_keith
Samcro is showing his old spark this year and options are wide open now, says Keith @Downroyal
He also gives @gelliott_racing a 4️⃣-timer on the day 👏
You can knock the form all day long, but Samcro can only beat what was in front of him and we couldn't be happier with what he did on Saturday. He's very exciting to go to war with, especially after the hard year we had with him last season.
Don't Give Up On Delta Work
You can only be disappointed that the race didn't work out how we'd hoped, but it happens in racing. They went far too slow for him and Delta Work never got going.
I wasn't happy on him from flag-fall and with the lack of genuine pace in the race it just wasn't meant to be. Turning in, we were all clipping heels, and I knew the front two were going to skip away from us and we just stayed galloping one-paced. He needs to come off a proper gallop and he didn't get anything like it on Saturday.
One thing that can't be avoided though is that he simply has to brush up on his jumping. He has now had 6 runs over fences and he's still making novicey mistakes - that gets found out quickly at the top level.
It's not all doom and gloom though as he improves for a run and it was only last season that he only barely put away Niven and Ben Dundee on his debut and left that form well behind.
All I can say is that we didn't get to see the best of him at Down Royal, he will improve massively from that run and he's far too good a horse to forget about just yet! However, to improve from that run, he has to improve his jumping, but I've no doubt that he will.
Mengli Khan ran no race at all on Saturday and has been poor really since Aintree. Hopefully he can bounce back, but he showed very little at the weekend.
I was very disappointed with Larquebuse on Sunday, she just seemed to be flat and it's possible that the bumper win just took the spark out of her. I'd expect much more from her than that in the future.
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Envoi & Couer Both Sublime
It's always great when horses translate what they are doing at home to the track, and both Coeur Sublime and Envoi Allen did exactly that.
Coeur Sublime finally showed everyone how good he is. He jumped so well and crucially showed the gears at home that made me call him the "best work horse in the yard".
I thought he'd improve for a trip, but if anything he seems a quicker horse this year so it'll be interesting once he runs in a higher class next time over 2 miles. It's a cliché, but he could be anything.
There's not much else you can say about Envoi Allen - he's just class.
Everything is now open to him as he showed how speedy he is. To think there was some people calling him slow last year - he's anything but!
As I've said. it's been a pleasure sitting on him at home and he did exactly what I thought he would.
Envoi Allen is a machine and he's set for the very top.
1/1111-1— Racing TV (@RacingTV) November 2, 2019
Impressive - Champion Bumper winner Envoi Allen makes a fine start over hurdles for the rampant @gelliott_racing team at @Downroyal 👏
Results ➡ https://t.co/glajGV55GRpic.twitter.com/zPRXnRsTEB
- Keith Donoghue’s Weekly Blog: Delta Work Was The Best Horse In The RSA
- Keith Donoghue’s Weekly Blog: Why Racing Weights Should Rise
- Daily Horse Racing Betting Tips
- Ante-Post Horse Racing Betting Tips
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