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Cossack is ready to dance

Tomorrow's Troytown card at Navan will have to escape a 3pm inspection at the Meath course later this afternoon and possibly another inspection in the morning before the meeting gets the green light from Turf Club Officials.

The ground was raceable but heavy at declaration time yesterday morning, but an unfavourable forecast has left a third Irish meeting in doubt this week following the earlier abandonment of Wexford and Thurles in recent days.


Michael O'Leary's Gigginstown House Stud are due to have 12 runners at Navan tomorrow, four of which come in the feature contest, the Ladbrokes Troytown Handicap Chase.

Gigginstown's retained jockey Davy Russell has opted to ride Dessie Hughes' novice Tofino Bay who will take on the competitive 20-runner handicap on just his third start over fences, which is certainly a daring ask.

Jane Mangan has been booked to take a valuable seven pounds off top weight Tharawaat for Gordon Elliott and the Gigginstown team, while Barry Geraghty will be on board Mouse Morris's Crash in the three-miler.

It is Charlie Swan's representative in the maroon and white colours that gets the nod, however, as Start Me Up looks to end his lengthy spell without a win by taking the Troytown.

Start Me Up will be again partnered by Nina Carberry who won three bumpers on the eight-year-old and has ridden him over fences on two occasions since he won a three-mile beginners' at Navan almost a year ago.

Although failing to win since almost a year ago, Start Me Up has been running some decent races in that time and should go close.

Earlier on the card the Grade Two Monksfield Novice Hurdle has attracted three Gigginstown runners, including Elliott's midweek winner Shrapnel, but it is his other runner Bonisland who makes most appeal with Davy Russell booked. Unbeaten in three -- a point-to-point, bumper and maiden hurdle -- Bonisland looks one of the more decent novice hurdlers around so far and he can stretch that winning sequence here.


Arguably the star attraction on show tomorrow will be Elliott's Don Cossack (pictured), who is set to make his hurdling debut in the two-mile maiden hurdle.

Anyone who is in any way connected with the Elliott or Gigginstown teams has not been able to contain their excitement about Don Cossack going over hurdles this season, and, according to reports, the three-time bumper winner should have little problem in making the transition.

Downpatrick maiden hurdle runner-up Torn Assunder is likely to be a short-priced favourite in the opener for the same combination, but it is point-to-point winning mare Francis Street who is given the vote here for Denis Murphy and Bryan Cooper.

Tomorrow's card concludes with a listed mares' bumper which has nine previous bumper winners lining up in the 21 runners; the pick of them looks between Brian Hamilton's Honey Bach and Noel Meade's Fickle Fortune.

Honey Bach is two from two on the track and Patrick Mullins has been booked to partner her. But Noel Meade has always held Fickle Fortune in high regard and her hurdling debut was obviously delayed with a view of taking in this lucrative €40,000 race in the meantime.