13.25 – Inesperate (Handicap Hurdle, 2m)
There’s far worse places to be going on a Sunday than to Navan. It’s a great, honest track.
I don’t know much about Inesperate, to be honest. On his form, it’s impossible to judge. He pulled up on his only start in Ireland. This is a competitive-looking handicap. He’ll have to be a real Tony Martin special to win.
13.55 – Vautour (Beginners Chase, 2m)
Vautour beat the Tullow Tank at Leopardstown in February. Won the Supreme Novices at the Cheltenham Festival in 2014. Won over two and a half miles at Punchestown in May. He’s rock solid. He jumps. He stays. But this is hardly the weakest novice chase ever run – Clarcam and Minella Foru are very decent horses. Either one could be entitled to be a favourite in a beginners chase without running into Vautour. Navan is a good track to start at for us. Hopefully he continues on his unbeaten way. First preference here is a clear round.
14.25 – Dogora (Troytown Handicap Chase, 3m)
A reproduction of his second behind Bright New Dawn in the beginners chance at Punchestown last December would give him a chance. He has pedigree but has to prove he stays. He fell first time up, was disappointing on his second start, and pulled up on his last run. As a juvenile he had form, but needs to produce his very best to be in with a chance here. The dangers are everywhere. It won’t be an easy race to ride. Massive field. Not much room. Guaranteed to have pace with that big a field. You’ll need luck. It’ll be easy to get brought down in. Living Next Door (under Barry Geraghty today) ran a nice race in a handicap hurdle a fortnight ago, when I rode him over two miles. Two miles is too sharp for him. He has had adequate prep. He’ll be hard to beat.
14.55 – Gallant Oscar (Handicap Hurdle, 2m 7f)
He won a bit cosier than the margin suggested the last day at Navan. He needed that run. He’s up 11lbs – but don’t mind 11lbs. He’s up about three grades as well. This is a much, much better race than he won the last day. There’s some very good horses here. Foxrock looks well handicapped over hurdles compared to his chase mark. Give Me A Break has a right chance. This is a really competitive race.
3.25 at Navan – Lyrical Theatre
She’s a good mare. We didn’t think she could get beaten in Galway but she was too keen. She settled much better in Naas. She’ll take a bit of beating here (under Patrick Mullins).