Saturday 16 December 2017

Clause to 'Escape' rivals in Navan feature

Jessica Harrington. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Jessica Harrington. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Johnny Ward

Navan will resemble a ghost town today with all eyes on Epsom, but it hosts a competitive Flat fixture.

Jessica Harrington has a string of jumpers and Flat runners that would be the envy of virtually everyone, and she can take the feature €50,000 handicap with Escape Clause.

This Lawman gelding holds Sweet Sounds on the basis of their clash at Naas and he seemed to stay on strongly up the hill. Being by Lawman out of a mare by Teofilo, the gelding is feasible now at ten furlongs.

One to fear is the Galileo colt Sir Edwin Landseer, which is a regally bred gelding running off 88, though the market ought to reveal plenty in that regard.

The concluding race has a €20,000 purse. Gold Spinner, a son of Pivotal, represents the local barn of Ger Lyons. In theory, he has a bit to find with Elizabeth Browning, but the form of his gutsy and gritty Cork victory over Born To Play looks really strong now, since that one is considered a potential Irish Derby contender.

Action begins with the sprint maiden in which Yulong Warrior must be considered. That said, Ballydoyle has a good idea what is required to beat him with War Ensign, as stablemate Sioux Nation beat the selection comfortably at Cork.

While Sweetest Taboo has been frustrating to follow, she may be worth another chance in the five-furlong handicap. Nathan Crosse, her rider, has made a good impression for boss Willie McCreery.

Steel Prince makes plenty of appeal in the staying maiden. Being by Nathaniel only adds to his allure, that young stallion supplying his first Classic winner yesterday in Oaks heroine Enable.

Over the same distance, the handicap saw the Frankel colt San Remo put in at 5/1 yesterday under Michael Hussey. Given his excellent Limerick effort, that could be big, and so could the 14/1 at which Wild Shot was on offer last night.

Trained in Co Dublin by Damien English, the So You Think-bred has come down the weights; his time may be nigh after a nice Dundalk run.

Tramore's offering is predictably moderate but not a bad punting card. Magnetic Force makes plenty of appeal in the handicap chase for another Dubliner, Robbie Hennessy. He likes it here, is in form and is really well-in potentially.

Kalopsia looks lively under Mark Walsh, deputising for the absent Barry Geraghty, in the mares' maiden chase. JP McManus' filly fell at Roscommon but the distance may be more to her liking than that of the Willie Mullins-trained Streaming Rose, which stays a good deal farther.

The maiden hurdle is a really poor race, evinced by Chapelier being put in favourite, even though he was 33/1 at Clonmel when last seen, unplaced in a moderate event and beaten nearly ten lengths. Being by Arcadio, the nicer ground is likely ideal, and he could be a cut above these foes.

McCarthys Fuel And Builders Providers Handicap Hurdle. Mullinavat will probably be a hot favourite here for Henry de Bromhead, a local trainer with a fine record of winners at Tramore. Sean Flanagan is now riding for the Knockeen handler, likely steering this steed positively.

Senewalk, by Douvan and Min's sire (Walk In The Park), is also trained by Willie Mullins. However, the fact he goes to Tramore reflects that he has become a bit disappointing and, while hardly bullet-proof, Bosco Di Alco is a tentative alternative for Liz Doyle.

A theme of this card generally is horses reverting from one jumping discipline to another off what seems an extremely exploitable mark. For example, De Bromhead's Heron Heights runs in the penultimate event off 102, yet he was rated 137 chasing when last seen.

The nightcap, a mares' bumper, should go to the consistent Doyle-trained Emmas Dilemma.

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