Davy Russell to ride Coko Beach for defence of Thyestes Chase title

Jack Kennedy decides to opt for Gordon Elliott’s Braeside for Thursday’s €100k race

Coko Beach will have Davy Russell onboard when going for back-to-back Goffs Thyestes Chase wins at Gowran Park on Thursday. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Coko Beach will have Davy Russell onboard when going for back-to-back Goffs Thyestes Chase wins at Gowran Park on Thursday. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

 

Coko Beach will have Davy Russell’s assistance on Thursday when trying to become the first horse in over a decade to win the Goffs Thyestes Chase back-to-back.

Last year’s winner of Gowran Park’s prestigious €100,000 handicap is among 18 runners after Tuesday’s declaration stage.

Coko Beach is one of a handful of Gordon Elliott-trained hopefuls and Jack Kennedy’s decision to opt for Braeside leaves Russell stepping in for the ride on the defending champion.

The veteran former champion jockey was a Thyestes winner for Gigginstown Stud in 2011 on Siegemaster.

The last horse to win the Thyestes back-to-back was Priests Leap in 2008-09.

Elliott and Willie Mullins have dominated the race in recent years and both will have five runners in Thursday’s highlight.

Paul Townend is on board the former Grade One winner Franco De Port for Mullins who can also call on his nephew Danny for Agusta Gold.

The general 6-1 favourite, though, is the Martin Brassil-trained Longhouse Poet despite having just a single start in over a year when out of the money at Limerick over Christmas.

Brassil was successful in the 2005 Thyestes with the subsequent Grand National hero Numbersixvalverde.

Topweight on Thursday is the Henry de Bromhead-trained Chris’s Dream, whose stable companion Eklat De Rire will be ridden by Rachael Blackmore.

A capacity crowd of up to 9,000 is expected at Gowran for the first significant racing date since the Government’s decision last week to lift most Covid-19 restrictions.

Earlier on the card, the Stayers favourite Klassical Dream will have a Cheltenham festival warm-up in the Grade Two John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle.

Klassical Dream, who beat the current Stayers champion Flooring Porter at Leopardstown over Christmas is set to give weight to eight opponents.

Thursday’s action will be shown live on RTÉ.

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