Paddy can go distance to trump vedette
Having had to contend with one or both of Solwhit and Hurricane Fly in each of her last three starts, Voler La Vedette will be a strong fancy to get back to winning ways in the absence of those two at Navan tomorrow.
Colm Murphy's mare is one of nine declared for the Ladbrokes.com Boyne Hurdle. On official ratings she is the clear pick, as she is the highest rated in the race by three pounds, yet receives five or seven pounds from all bar one of her rivals.
If that translates into practice, Voler La Vedette should have no difficulty in justifying favouritism, but there may be a better value alternative, especially given that two miles and five furlongs in heavy ground is unlikely to play to her strengths. At a forecast 5/2, Shinrock Paddy could be the one to side with.
A mud-lover with two wins from three starts this term, Paul Nolan's charge bounced back to form at Naas last time, having disappointed over three miles at Leopardstown. On that occasion, Rigour Bob Back and Oscar Dan Dan, which reoppose here, finished in front of him, but it may be that three miles simply proved beyond him.
Tomorrow, Shinrock Paddy reverts to the course and distance over which he won a Grade One last season, and there was a lot to take from his win at Naas in January. It will be a surprise if he doesn't go close again.
Colm Murphy will also saddle the likely favourite in the Ten Up Novice Chase. The improving Quito De La Roque is the Wexford handler's representative here, but again it may pay to look elsewhere in what is a tricky contest.
Royal De La Thinte gets the nod, having been in the process of running a big race before tipping up at the last in the race that Quito De La Roque won at Naas a month ago. Andrew Lynch's mount probably wouldn't have won that day, but the run confirmed that this fine big French-bred is on a steep upward curve.
Second to the subsequent Grade One winner Bostons Angel on his chasing debut, he beat Alpha Ridge by 10 lengths at Punchestown in December. Now, benefiting from a five-pound swing at the weights with the favourite, he can get back to winning ways.