WillowWarm Gold Cup (Grade 1)

Blood Destiny: Smart juvenile hurdler last season but already looks a better chaser, jumping particularly smoothly on debut when nine lengths too good for the useful Heart Wood. Disappointing when beaten by Spillane’s Tower in Grade 3 SkyBet Novice Chase at Punchestown but reversed form on better terms and over shorter trip at Navan. Back up in trip and level weights today will require a step forward from that run.

Flanking Maneuver: Off the mark over fences here earlier this season but found out at a higher level since, most notably when well held by the two market leaders here at Navan. Early faller at Naas latest and suspicion he is at his best when fresh so looks up against it.

Saint Felicien: Long touted as a smart sort but yet to really deliver and looked to be coming into trouble when brought down in the Plate at Cheltenham earlier this month. Prior to that he got off the mark at Gowran Park with a decent performance but this looks much tougher.

Spillane’s Tower: Fourth on both of his first two chase starts but off the mark at Punchestown in December and then ran out classy winner over Blood Destiny in Grade 3 SkyBet Novice Chase in January, given confident ride to collar the Mullins horse having trailed him into the last. Form of that contest reversed in two-mile Navan Grade 3 but Blood Destiny was 3lb better off at the weights. Back at two and a half miles and off level weights today (7lb swing from Navan) looks to give this six-year-old every chance.

Tactical Move: Three wins from four runs when coming off 1,158-day break last year, which says plenty for the faith shown in him. Had Saint Felicien behind him at Gowran in January but although winning a Grade 3 at Naas latest, he disappointed in his performance to only account for Jumping Jet by three lengths. Reasonable chance he will be better off coming back right handed and it won’t be a huge surprise if he can play a part in the finish.

Thecompanysergeant: Below graded level over hurdles but recent runner-up effort to Mister Policeman bodes well for his chasing career. That said, this is a big step up in class and likely to be found wanting at this stage.

Zanahiyr: Classy hurdler has done reasonably well over fences, getting off the mark when a half-length too good for Aspire Tower at Thurles and then faring best of the Irish in Turners earlier this month. Needs to come forward again and quick turnaround is a slight question to answer too.


Spillane’s Tower can go 2-1 up against Blood Destiny, with today’s trip and weight terms back in his favour. Tactical Move could outrun his odds back at this right-handed track.