Friday, March 14, 2014


That was lovely to see Davy Russell ride those three winners today, including the Gold Cup.  He's been my favourite jockey for years (our own jockey William Kennedy excluded, of course) as, to my mind, he's the perfect jockey.  When Richard Dunwoody was riding I used to say that I'd never seen a better jockey, Flat or National Hunt, and for the past few years I've been saying the same thing about Davy Russell.  That doesn't appear to be a commonly-held view, but I'm probably less rare in holding it now than I was 24 hours ago.  If ever a jockey deserved to be described as a centaur - half man, half horse - it's D. N. Russell.

But, rather than bore you to sleep eulogising about a man who's been on your TV screens all day, I'll just add a lovely footnote to the previous chapter's Roy Higgins appreciation.  After posting yesterday evening's chapter, I received an email sent by our friend in Sydney, Barry Wallace, former employee of Roy's long-term patron Angus Armanasco and of Gus' neighbour Rob McGuiness, and also former Flemington-based and Rosehill-based trainer (and now travel agent).  I won't quote the full email, but here are a few sentences from it:-

"Dear John, just a quick one to say thanks for the lovely piece you wrote on Roy Henry.  In the '80s, albeit for a short time, Roy was my business partner.  I bought horses from him when I was trading to Malaysia ... Roy was a treasure, he was honest, he was transparent and he was friendly.  When I say friendly, he went beyond that.  There was nothing he wouldn't do for you if it was within his reach ... It was a pleasure, an absolute pleasure, to have known him; if I can go to my maker half the good human being Roy was, then I shall be happy".

I don't think that any man could ever receive a finer or more heart-felt tribute than that, so I'm sure that Barry won't mind my passing on his reflections.

The lovely vernal weather continues, by the way; although, as you can see in the first picture through Roy's ears, the fog was very, very thick early this morning, even if it was already dispersing rapidly by 8 o'clock.

1 comment:

neil kearns said...

Couldn't,tagree more about Davy Russell feel he is grossly underrated because he plies his trade mainly in ?Ireland and the way he public ally handled the Gigginstown sacking is the measure of the man could not be more pleased particularly as I had backed all three Was also delighted to see my two favourite IIrish trainers being successful Messrs Meade and SCullotty all in all a most satisfactory day