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Aonvarr can prove his superiority for Lanigan

Aonvarr gets the nod to justify nap billing for Laois-based handler Bill Lanigan and conditional rider Ian McCarthy at Navan this afternoon.

On a day when all eyes will be zoning in on the feast of cross-channel action at Liverpool, this domestic card is decidedly low-key.

That said, there is plenty to get your teeth into at the Co Meath venue, and Aonvarr appeals as one of the more promising prospects in the www.thetote.com Maiden Hurdle over two miles.

Of the other nine on duty in this, Dr Moloney and Killshallago are feared most, but the selection has the profile of a horse that might yet prove superior to this middle-of-the-road fare.

A bumper winner at Killarney last May, he finished sixth to Moscow Mannon on his reappearance over today's course and distance in December, before building on that to be fourth here behind Nearly Nama'D in March.

Both of those outings came on unsuitably heavy ground, so if he makes a similar level of improvement again now he could take all the beating on this far less testing surface.

Having taken a knock to the shoulder at Thurles on Thursday, Davy Russell is pencilled in for a decent book of rides again here, with Kates Benefit, Dylan Ross and Rathlin all potential winners.

Ken Budds' Kates Benefit will have to account for Dessie Hughes' useful New River in the opening mares' maiden hurdle.

Following a tame defeat at Fairyhouse in January, Kates Benefit might have it all to do, but the suspicion is that she wasn't herself on that occasion. If Budds has the dual bumper winner back on song after a short break, she ought to have a big say under the champion jockey.

Willie Mullins' Call The Police is the top-rated of the five runners in the Grade Two Webster Chase. Like Rathlin, he hasn't quite progressed as it once looked like he could, but Russell's Mouse Morris-trained partner might be the one to come on the most for this better ground.


Dylan Ross is certainly a horse that will relish the yielding in going in the preceding novice chase.

Noel Meade's seven-year-old beat Cheltenham hero Lord Windermere here in the mud back in November, but all his previous best form had come on a much sounder surface, so he is fancied to bounce back to form now at the expense of Rupert Lamb and Moon Dice.

In the two-mile handicap hurdle, Kinsale raider By The Hour gets the nod for Robert Tyner and Philip Enright. A chase winner off a mark of 111, the 10-year-old reverts to hurdles here off a potentially favourable rating of 102.

Irish Independent