Navan Preview, 18/01/20

Saturday January 18th

Navan 1.55
Navan Handicap Hurdle Grade B
2m4f – Going: Soft to Heavy (Heavy in places) – 13 runners

Hasn’t won often, but last start last season at the Punchestown Festival hinted at improvement and he confirmed that on reappearance when winning a Grade B handicap at Naas on November 9th, disputed lead 7th, led 3 out, moved best home turn, led a length 2 out, pushed along, stayed on, led 3 lengths last, ridden out, stayed on well, unchallenged in the end from Rock De Baune. Moved best of the field on the turn and there might be another good run in him
Coko Beach*
Best run last season when runner-up in Fred Winter at the Cheltenham Festival, every chance 2 out where mistake,  put under pressure,  led a neck on landing last, headed 175 yards out, outpaced as winner asserted, kept on behind Band Of Outlaws and shaped as though he’d be effective over further. Winning reappearance in conditions hurdle at Punchestown on October 15th and shaped well in handicap company before failing for stamina over 3m at Navan on December 7th behind The Jam Man, midfield, in close to 7th, niggled along turning out of back straight after 11th, headway approaching home turn, tracked leaders approaching 3 out and moved comfortably, mistake there, niggled along, every chance 2 out, ridden and outpaced between last 2, dropping back under pressure when fell last. On that evidence it’ll suit him to drop to 2m4f here
Dolciano Dici
Yet to win since joining present stable, but the odd decent run on his record, not least last time when 4th to Alfa Mix at Navan on December 15th, midfield 5th, moved comfortably enough home turn, good ground to track leaders 3 out, briefly niggled along, tracked leaders and travelled best when mistake 2 out, hard ridden, one pace approaching last, faded run-in, lost ground on 1st 3. Error at the second last proved costly, travelled strongest at the time; hard to leave out here
Alfa Mix*
Successful in two of his last three runs, put in a career-best on handicap debut last time in Grade B handicap chase at Navan on December 15th, tracked leaders after 1st, not fluent 5th, moved comfortably home turn, mistake 3 out, still moved comfortably and pulled wide to get a sight of 2 out, produced to challenge jumping, moved best of the field when niggled along approaching last, chased leader a length down jumping, hard ridden, ran on to lead 175 yards out, drew clear of Top Moon last 100 yards. Higher mark here demands improvement but he may well have that in him
Mind’s Eye
Most recently seen over fences and career best run over them when 5th to Le Richebourg in Grade 1 novice at Leopardstown over Christmas 2018, raced with high head carriage, ridden into 6th, nudged along 8th, more firmly pushed along bend before 3 out, ridden and going worst of the 1st 5 approaching 2 out, dropped away and reminders approaching home turn, well held turning in, hung left, no more before or after last, finished with running in him. Not firing this season and plenty of holes can be poked in his best run, 2nd to Dinons at Limerick in October, several mistakes, hard ridden and outpaced as Dinons went clear approaching home turn, couldn’t find more under a ride from 2 out, well held last, weakened and was being closed on by the 3rd last 100 yards. One to be against
The Bosses Oscar*
Sound hurdling debut when 2nd to Blue Sari at Punchestown on hurdling debut, moved comfortably 2 out but had a bit to do with 6 or 7 lengths to find, shaken up home turn when 4 lengths to find, stayed on, closed on those ahead disputed 3rd last, hard ridden, ran on last 100 yards, was closing strongly on winner but never getting there, and went one better at Leopardstown over Christmas, niggled along from midfield and closer order approaching 2 out, pushed along approaching home turn and caught widest of all turning in, hard ridden and stayed on, closed on leaders approaching last, led early on run-in, hard ridden and stayed on well to draw clear of Fun Light. Opening 132-mark gives him a tough task, but he’s arguably better than he’s shown up to now on account of the way he’s been ridden thus far and he’s unexposed anyway
Yaha Fizz
Showing little since coming back from a long absence, last time at Leopardstown dropping rear after 3 out, weakening after given reminders after 2 out and weakening/hanging approaching the last behind The Moyglass Flyer. Has been beaten double digits on all completed runs over 2m4f and is best watched
Court Maid
Two stand-out runs on her record in novice hurdles, when 12th to Eglantine Du Seuil at the Cheltenham Festival (headway wide from the top of the hill and closing in midfield approaching 2 out, hard ridden after it, stayed on, put under pressure once in line for home and stayed on till little impression 150 yards off last, ridden after last, no impression, not hard ridden last 100 yards) and when 6th to Honeysuckle at Fairyhouse last April. On the face of it disappointing in Pertemps Qualifier at Leopardstown on reappearance but it wasn’t without promise, held up, mistake 6th, niggled along before and after 8th, ridden into 3 out and hard ridden away from it, well back and hard ridden 2 out, kept on and passed some beaten ones home turn, no more after last and eased last 150 yards behind Treacyenniscorthy. A good show here wouldn’t be a surprise although there’s a suspicion that she doesn’t see out her races
Got Trumped
Fair juvenile last season who ran 8th to Band Of Outlaws in the Fred Winter at the Cheltenham Festival, shaken up after 2 out, effort and made ground on those ahead whilst at the same time taken from inner/middle to middle/outer approaching last, no further impression nearing it, ridden and no more run-in. Nothing much on only start so far this season, tailed off behind The Moyglass Flyer at Leopardstown over Christmas. No pretensions to staying 2m4f on pedigree (a half-brother, Cappella Sansavero, won at 6f on the Flat and flopped at a mile)
Clondaw Native
Only one win from eight starts over hurdles, and towards the end of his time with Stuart Edmunds started to race lazily, including when eventually running 7th at Cheltenham in April 2018, several reminders after 9th, niggled along and closer order after 10th, pushed along approaching 2 out, mistake there and short of room on landing, hard driven home turn, no impression, in close to last, kept on under pressure up the hill behind Monbeg Theatre. Not out since December 2018, but undoubtedly fairly treated on his first start for Gordon Elliott if he improves his attitude to racing
Drop The Anchor
Best to date over hurdles when winning 0-140 handicap at Punchestown in November, chased leader, in close to 5th, moved upsides 6th, led 2 out, pushed along, stayed on in narrow lead home turn, led a length last, driven out, stayed on well to draw clear, sustained effort to the line to beat Scheu Time. Under different tactics, let down by his jumping at Leopardstown last time, mistake 7th and niggled along away from it, blundered 3 out and hard ridden for a few strides, pushed along bend before 2 out, mistake there, kept on home turn, effort and in contention for a place when driven along approaching last, no extra, not fluent, well held, eased off last 150 yards behind Peaches And Cream. Better than his finishing position suggested last time, worth another chance
After a spell in the doldrums, showed his best form for some time when 2nd at Cork on January 4th, midfield starting final circuit, headway 7th, reached for 8th, chased leader after 9th, shaken up 3 out, switched inner to middle approaching 2 out, ridden and outpaced approaching last, driven and kept on run-in, no chance with Morosini, stuck to task. Plenty to do here but a repeat of that run would get him in the first four or five
Our Boy Boru
On first start since winning at Down Royal in January 2018, ran a good race when 4th to Abraham in an 80-116 at Naas on January 5th, chased leader approaching 7th, disputed lead jumping, moved comfortably 3 out, niggled along home turn, faded approaching 2 out, hard ridden, no extra approaching last, well held in 5th jumping, put under pressure, stayed on last 175 yards, went 4th and going on okay at the end. Still stretching it to suggest he can win this Grade B event

Shortlist: Coko Beach, Alfa Mix, The Bosses Oscar

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