SATURDAY represented the final chapter in the career of that exceptional jockey Davy Russell.
He was merely adding an epilogue when brought out of retirement to provide cover for Gordon Elliott after Jack Kennedy’s injury but is now closing the book once and for all.
His last visit to Cheltenham proved a rather unhappy one, and his final crack at the Grand National ended far too soon, but he left Liverpool with two more Grade 1 wins to his name, the final one coming on Irish Point (Gordon Elliott).
The five-year-old looked a smart prospect when runner-up in both the Royal Bond and the Lawlors of Naas, only to flop at the Dublin Racing Festival.
He missed Cheltenham for a confidence-boosting win at Naas the weekend before and was right back to his best here, the 5/1 shot leading between the last two hurdles and keeping on too strongly for the diminutive mare Kateira (Dan/Harry Skelton) and favourite Hermes Allen (Paul Nicholls/Harry Cobden) to win by three and a half lengths and two-and-three-quarter-lengths.
The race was marred by the fall of the well-fancied Dark Raven, trained by Willie Mullins and racing for Simon Munir and Isaac Souede.
The son of Malinas was one of three horses lost during the week, with Envoye Special also fatally injured whilst running loose in the Foxhunters’ on Thursday.