The action at Navan on Saturday gets underway with a 2-mile maiden hurdle with two very interesting French imports among a large declared field. MANITOPARK AA was privately purchased by Simon Munir and Isaac Souede and sent to Willie Mullins following several wins on the level in France last year. The daughter of Walk In The Park gets the weight allowance here from several rivals including fellow French import, Glorie D’athon for Cheveley Park and Henry de Bromhead.
The son of Doctor Dino won a French bumper in October 2019 and is clearly on the short-list here, while Magic Tricks for Gordon Elliott is another lively contender following his latest fourth at Punchestown. Manitopark AA knows how to win, receives weight and is trained by the Mullins team, who won this race with Vautour in 2013 – she’ll win the opener.
There’s some substance to both divisions of the 2-mile 4-furlong maiden hurdles’ with GRANGECLARE NATIVE showing enough previous form to win the opening division. The Gordon Elliott runner won at Punchestown on his rules debut before finishing down the field on his hurling debut behind Jason The Militant in graded company at Naas last February. Despite a fall at Gowran Park in October and been turned over as favourite here over course and distance last month, the mount of Jack Kennedy is a serious player today.
Kalkas, a French import for Henry de Bromhead looks an interesting runner, while stable-mate Minella Escape might give our pick the most worry. The Belharbour point to point winner fell at the last at Punchestown on his hurdling debut last month and should improve for the team. Elsewhere, Crecerelle, Eden Flight and Salt Wind are others who could be in the mix for Joseph O’Brien, Willie Mullins and Michael Kennedy.
GENOIS should represent some value here against Forged In Fire following his recent third place finish on debut over hurdles at this venue last month. The Enda Bolger trained four-year-old ran a creditable race behind winner Joshua Webb with Grangeclare Native back in second (runs at 12:00pm). He’ll obviously come on for that run, gets weight from market rivals and has that recent race sharpness on his side to go very close to victory.
It would be a surprise if Forged In Fire doesn’t go off favourite here following his bumper victory over Ferney Hollow at Leopardstown last Christmas. Elsewhere, pointers, Clondaw Secret and Ain’t That A Shame are running under rules for the first time, while Frere Tuck makes an Irish debut for Willie Mullins having won a French bumper in June 2018.
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This handicap hurdle looks an absolute cracker with many top names doing battle in a contest worth just over €53,000 to the winner. The only place to start is looking at SHATTERED LOVE for Gordon Elliott, who runs here off a 16lb lower rating over hurdles to fences and also has the 7lb claim of jockey Gavin Brouder to help. She’s in great form having returned to finish third on her seasonal debut at Punchestown before landing a mares’ chase at Clonmel and can be bang in the mix today.
Elsewhere, De Name Escapes Me is another leading contender following victory on the level in the November handicap at Naas and an earlier reasonable third place finish at Galway over hurdles in September. The Bosses Oscar, Sayo, Tout Est Permis and Flooring Porter are just four others in the mix in a pre-Christmas cracker over hurdles here at Navan.
There’s been some small getaways for some this year but this Saturday at Navan we’ll be seeing THE BIG GETAWAY for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend. The Ballymore novices’ hurdle third takes to chasing here and is hoping to follow in the footsteps of stable-mates, Janidil, Appreciate It, Colreevy, Franco De Port and Monksfish by winning over fences for the first-time this season.
It looks a nice opportunity for the six-year-old who has Cheltenham Festival entries in both the Marsh and RSA next March. He previously won a point-to-point at Horse & jockey for Donnchadh Doyle and was always bound for chasing under rules. Elsewhere, Conflated is one of the main dangers with previously good form over hurdles and two good runs over fences this season, while Opposites Attact is another who should be in the mix for a place.
Tips for Navan on Saturday
More Tips for Saturday
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