Saturday 23 September 2017

'Cross' the intelligent choice for O'Brien

Ballydoyle will be expecing Intelligence Cross to score, this time under Donnachadh O’Brien, at Navan today. Photo: Caroline Norris
Ballydoyle will be expecing Intelligence Cross to score, this time under Donnachadh O’Brien, at Navan today. Photo: Caroline Norris

Johnny Ward

Aidan O'Brien spied a nice opportunity in today's sprint rated race at Navan for Intelligence Cross, which should be too strong for his four foes.

Though the War Front colt was sixth of ten at the Curragh three weeks ago, he gave a very nice account behind stablemate Washington DC, and either that effort or his fifth at Newmarket in July should be enough in this.

Navan has some massive fields, including the Sequence Events Handicap, which sees a lively candidate in A Likely Story.

Dermot Weld's gelding is drawn one, which may not be ideal depending on potential bias, but he looks pretty well-treated.

The big race at the County Meath venue is the €40,000 premier nursery, which has attracted a pretty poor field of just six. Blue Uluru, which was put in at 13/2 last evening, might be better than a rating of 83 for Ger Lyons, though Brick By Brick seems the one to beat on the balance of things.

Competitive

The staying handicap is deeply competitive. Again Gavin Cromwell's local runner King's Wharf has a shocker of a draw. At least he has Pat Smullen in his quest to get over that.

Wexford's Jumps offering is relatively competitive and local handler Colin Bowe is expecting Sharlanda to give a good account in the Sulzer Novice Chase.

"It's a good little race but options are limited as she's in foal to Ol' Man River, so we're against the clock. I think she only has 15 or 20 days left to run, so we'll try to make the most of her."

Another €15,000 contest, the handicap chase may see Magnetic Force belatedly come good over fences for Dubliner Robbie Hennessy, though the booking of Davy Russell takes the eye on Bellgrove, which seems likely to go off favourite.

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