Tuesday 25 October 2016

Godolphin's Raven to soar home at Navan for Halford

Published 21/09/2015 | 02:30

The Mick Halford-trained Golden Raven looks for its first win in the mile Maiden at Navan
The Mick Halford-trained Golden Raven looks for its first win in the mile Maiden at Navan

Mick Halford's Golden Raven is tentative nap material on a particularly difficult Navan card.

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Halford is well represented all day and, in the colts' maiden, he introduces a Godolphin Dutch Art juvenile called Still Life that cost £262,500 as a yearling.

Golden Raven also sports Sheikh Mohammed's blue silks.

A £105,000 acquisition as a foal, the Raven's Pass gelding contests the mile maiden for three-year-olds and upwards. He made his track debut at the Meath venue 16 days ago, when he raced prominently before tiring into fifth behind Red Napoleon.

Jim Bolger's Mcguigan was one of those to pass him inside the distance en route to finishing second, and he re-opposes now. However, after five runs, he has a little less scope to progress.

Golden Raven will surely come on plenty for the experience, while Downforce, which finished behind him in sixth, has since won at Down Royal. All told then, if the ground holds up, Shane Foley's mount is fancied to step up in a pretty moderate contest.

In the €20,000 fillies' handicap, Halford's Cailin Mor is likely to figure prominently under Conor Hoban following her recent Curragh win. This is an open nine-runner affair over a mile.

The one that might be worth keeping on side is Antique Platinum. Dermot Weld's four-year-old won on her second outing at Galway last year, prior to finishing second to Sea Coast off a mark of 82 at Cork.

She needed the run on her July return, and ran better when second to Fact Or Folklore - a winner again since - at Roscommon. Those starts came over 10 furlongs, whereas Antique Platinum's win was over seven and her fine Cork effort over a mile. With that in mind, the drop in trip should suit, so she should go close off 81 for Pat Smullen.

The same firm might also plunder the two-year-olds' maiden with A Likely Story. This is a middling affair, but A Likely Story showed plenty when second to General Macarthur on his Dundalk bow. If the Exceed And Excel gelding copes with the slight drop in trip to six furlongs, he should improve to score.

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