Psycho (left): vying for favouritism with Robin Du BoisPICTURE: Caroline Norris
Russell to take ride on Psycho in Pierse Hurdle
PSYCHO will head the Tony Martin assault on the Pierse Hurdle at Leopardstown after it was confirmed on Wednesday that Davy Russell, seeking his first win in the race, will take the ride in Sunday's feature race.
The eight-year-old, who is vying for favouritism with stablemate Robin Du Bois, justified odds of 13-8 in a 16-runner handicap at this meeting 12 months ago before falling with victory in sight over the same course and distance. He was then sent off the 5-1 favourite for the County Hurdle at Cheltenham but went down by three-quarters of a length to Silver Jaro - another Pierse Hurdle intended runner - after which rider Paul Carberry was criticised for leaving his run so late.
Davy Russell: will partner PsychoPICTURE: Carolien Norris
Martin said: "I'm very happy with Psycho and Davy Russell will ride him while Robbie [Colgan] will probably ride Robin Du Bois. Both of mine will appreciate a bit of cut in the ground so conditions should be okay on the day.
"I also have Mourne Rambler in there, but I'd say this race is probably coming a bit too soon after Ascot for him so he probably won't run, although we'll see how he goes in a piece of work on Thursday first before we up make our minds."
All three horses have also been entered for the Totesport Trophy at Newbury on February 7.
Tom Hogan intends running Kirbybroguelantern and Silver Jaro, who finished third last year under Noel Fehily.
He said: "John Cullen will ride Kirbybroguelantern and Noel is coming over again to ride Silver Jaro. I expect both of them to run well.
"Silver Jaro is a better horse physically this year, while Kirby is a stuffy horse and I expect him to improve a bit from his recent run following a short break at Punchestown."
The going at Leopardstown is yielding on the hurdle track with the cold snap forecast to lift at the weekend.