11:30 Kilberry Pub & Kitchen Maiden Hurdle (Div I) 2m 4f
Whatdeawant has smart bumper form but he lacks hurdles experience and a recent run, which isn’t the case for Prevaricate. Gordon Elliott’s five-year-old ran to a very good level when only just touched off by the very useful Uhtred in a Naas maiden hurdle last month. The fourth from that contest won at Clonmel on Thursday to further enhance the form, and this son of Fame And Glory will be tough to beat if he can step forward.
Sean and Bernardine Mulryan’s Whatdeawant finished third to Kilcruit in the Grade 2 bumper at the Dublin Racing Festival. There is a slight worry about the quicker ground he’ll encounter today, and that caution also extends to Clonmel bumper winner Harald Hardrad.
Next best: Whatdeawant
12.00 Kilberry Pub & Kitchen Maiden Hurdle (Div II) 2m 4f
A tentative vote goes to Fantasio D’Alene who certainly has the ability to win this. He finished second to Vanillier on his first start over hurdles at Naas last season and he finished a sick horse when well beaten on his next and only start. He was a very useful bumper horse and remains a potentially nice hurdles recruit.
Highland Charge was a little disappointing when only sixth to Eric Bloodaxe at Naas but may strip fitter now and a first-time tongue-tie could help him.
SELECTION: FANTASIO D’ALENE
Next best: Highland Charge
12.33 Navan Novice Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m 4f
Ginto, an expensive purchase last season after winning his point-to-point impressively at Tattersalls Farm, has had little opportunity to really stretch his legs, running in two bumpers and coming off a relatively slow pace to win his maiden hurdle over this course and distance last month. The form of that maiden hurdle win received a boost when the third Noah’s Light won here two weeks ago, so it was a decent contest and he can progress.
Eric Bloodaxe beat Ferny Hollow in a bumper and got off to a winning start over hurdles at Naas last month. The worry is that might have been a poor heat and he recorded a relatively poor time also.
Next best: Eric Bloodaxe
1.08 Bective Stud Handicap Hurdle (Grade B) 3m 60y
Burning Victory is an intriguing runner for this competitive heat, which produced the Stayers’ Hurdle winner last season. Willie Mullins’s filly was last seen running an excellent second to Buzz in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket, the pair pulling well clear. Her last run over hurdles was in the Galway Hurdle, where she finished a respectable seventh but this dramatic rise in trip could be just the ticket and unlike plenty of her rivals, the potential quick ground won’t bother her. She only has four starts over hurdles so has lots of scope to improve further off a mark of 143, especially when you consider her new flat mark of 106.
Folcano looked to be crying out for this trip last season as a novice. He got a chance over three miles for his seasonal debut at Punchestown and stayed on nicely late on.
SELECTION: BURNING VICTORY
Next best: Folcano
1.43 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Klairon Davis Novice Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 1f
Gordon Elliott is looking make hay with Riviere D’Etel while she can avail of her hefty age allowance. Two from two over fences, she has looked very smart, particularly when 21 lengths too good for Cape Gentleman in a Grade 2 at Punchestown three weeks ago. This looks a softer heat, and reunited with Denis O’Regan she can bring up a quick hat-trick.
Dancing On My Own was most promising on his comeback from a long absence when beating the very useful yardstick Buddy Rich comfortably at Killarney. He is not discounted taking on the filly here if he can progress from that effort.
SELECTION: RIVIERE D’ETEL
Next best: Dancing On My Own
2.18 Navan Racecourse
Beginners Chase 2m 4f
A tricky contest to decipher given the sizeable question marks around many of the main contenders with regards to ground and race fitness. It might be worth taking a chance on Everglow, who improved significantly for going chasing when fifth to Gabynako in a beginners’ chase at Fairyhouse. Three of the four that finished ahead of him that day ran very well in the Drinmore last Sunday.
The other one to note is Keskonrisk, placed in a Grade 1 novice hurdle last term, and now having his first start for Willie Mullins.
Next best: Keskonrisk
2.53 Foxrock Handicap Chase (Grade B) 2m 4f
This looks a good opportunity for Wa Wa to complete his hat-trick and scoop a nice pot. The six-year-old has been a different proposition since joining the Dermot McLoughlin yard, winning at Killarney and then most recently at Naas. He recorded a smart time when picking up well on the run-in at the latter track and though up 12lbs, he looks really progressive now, unlike plenty of his rivals.
Foxy Jacks won a big handicap chase at the Punchestown Festival and may well have used his run over hurdles at Punchestown, ninth to Sassy Yet Classy, as a prep for this, so he could be dangerous now.
SELECTION: WA WA
Next best: Foxy Jacks
3.28 Racing Again At Navan On December 18th INH Flat Race 2m
A tentative vote goes to Killer Mode who found only Kilcruit too good on his debut in this race 12 months ago. He went on to finish fifth in a Leopardstown bumper over Christmas and showed enough in those two runs to suggest he can win a bumper.
Itswhatunitesus is clearly a danger for Gordon Elliott and Jamie Codd, the former having won this race three times in a row until last season.
SELECTION: KILLER MODE
Next best: Itswhatunitesus