THE graded action continued at Navan on Sunday with Notebook showing off his jumping talents on his seasonal debut while My Mate Mozzie continued his progression with a performance of a novice hurdler destined to compete at Grade 1 level with the Royal Bond appearing a suitable target.
Mark Walsh took over in the saddle on My Mate Mozzie (146+) and executed similar tactics to the horse’s previous win at Punchestown as Gavin Cromwell’s gelding set off to make the running in the Grade 3 For Auction Novice Hurdle.
The pace over the first two hurdles was slow, but increased heading out on the circuit to become akin to the gallop set by Flooring Porter in the Grade 2 Lismullen Hurdle.
A comparison with his stablemate, before his untimely departure, would have seen the five-year-old novice cover the ground between the last hurdle on the first circuit and the first in the straight two seconds faster despite jumping right on occasions.
To add further substance to the performance, the son of Born To Sea also registered the fastest closing sectional from the fourth last to confirm he possesses a turn of foot to match his high cruising speed. In stopping the clock at 95.4 seconds, he was 0.5 seconds faster than Darasso (145), who prevailed following Flooring Porter’s exit.
Easca Peasca (122) covered the same ground in 96 seconds off a much slower pace and Gordon Elliott’s opening race winner Ginto (110) was the slowest on the day in posting 98.7 seconds.
The closing bumper saw the master of Cullentra House top and tail the card with yet another impressive bumper winner to add to the recent successes of American Mike and Bellatior.
A shortened view of the race from the path away from the stands shows Gringo D’Aubrelle (130+) to have completed the section 1.6 seconds faster than My Mate Mozzie without being fully extended, while the overall race time was also impressive.
Of the two Bective Stud geldings, American Mike was visually the superior performance and would rate Gordon Elliott’s best bumper horse on the clock at this formative stage of the season.
Notebook (162) ran to his usually high standard and finished strongly to suggest an extra distance of ground may be within his stamina reach while the ground is still speed favouring.
The overall race time was the fastest furlong-by-furlong of the two chases although the margin would have been reduced taking a shorter view of the races.
However, it also depicted Henry De Bromhead’s gelding was probably not doing a great deal when Samcro (150) laid down his challenge, as the eight-year-old would also have left novice chase winner Buddy Rich (140) trailing with his closing effort.