Davy Russell makes a breakthrough in Grand Steeplechase de Paris

• Jockey realises ambition with victory on chance ride Carriacou
• Willie Mullins’ five runners eclipsed by French-trained winner

The fruitful autumn of Davy Russell’s career continued as he rode Carriacou to win the Grand Steeplechase de Paris, the French equivalent of the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The race was notable for a strong challenge by Willie Mullins, who fielded five runners in an attempt to be the first trainer from Britain or Ireland to take the prize since 1962, but it produced a different kind of Irish success as Russell enjoyed an easy victory just a month short of his 40th birthday.

Explaining how he came in for the ride, Russell said: “I only got a phone call, I think on Friday, to see if I could do the weight, and I could thankfully. We’ve watched this race in awe from afar. All through my career I always really wanted to take part in it and never got the opportunity until now. I was really pleased just to have a ride in the race.”

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