Wednesday 26 April 2017

'Chimneys' can smoke out Navan foes in last

Ruby Walsh. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Ruby Walsh. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Johnny Ward

The return of Jezki adds to the intrigue of Navan's offering on what promises to be a chilly but dry day at what seems rightly known as Ireland's coldest track.

Thurles patrons were treated to three one-time Grade One horses fighting it out in hunter chase company on Thursday. Today, Jezki and Carlingford Lough, which have 13 wins at the top level between them, clash in the Race Displays Event Signage Hurdle.

Jezki's future plans may hinge somewhat on today's delivery. Carlingford Lough is clearly vulnerable at the distance too. Another returning steed is preferred in Tombstone.

He was supposed to be chasing this term but, according to Gigginstown's Eddie O'Leary, "got the same injury in three different legs". He might have run in tomorrow's Leoparsdtown feature but has smart novice form and will like the distance now.

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Ruby Walsh will presumably switch to Navan, with Ascot likely to be called off. He can steer Arbre De Vie to glory in a smart maiden chase. Though he never got near Baljo Des Flos at Fairyhouse, it was still a respectable second chase start in a race run at a really hard pace.

The novice hurdle is open to horses rated under 124 but is basically the next thing to a handicap. Thirsty Work will relish the steep climb to the wire now.

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In the two-mile handicap hurdle, Yaha Fizz can make a bold front-running bid, perhaps setting it up for Castlehume to pounce under Jack Kennedy.

C'est Jersey has not lived up to his work in training. This theme may continue in the maiden hurdle, one of his Fairyhouse conquerors - Gettysburg Address - preferred, a topical pick too.

While the handicap hurdle is wide open - Wee Small Hours a token pick - the handicap chase does not look to be and, off this rating, All The Chimneys should win bar a fall for Willie Austin.

Irish Independent

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