Monday 18 December 2017

Hidden Cyclone can put wind up rivals

Damien McElroy

Navan manager Darren Lawlor was just keeping his fingers crossed last night that the Meath venue escapes a rather confusing forecast for snow showers overnight ahead of a Turf Club inspection this morning (7.30) to determine weekend prospects there.

"We were raceable all week and, although the chases have been cancelled, we have done all we can to try and race tomorrow and on Sunday. We've covered the take-offs and landings of the hurdles and those parts of the track which are most liable to frost," Lawlor said.

"It's a frustrating situation, as we were initially advised at lunchtime the snow would miss us. Then this evening they told us we will probably get it tonight and, if we cannot race tomorrow, the chances of going ahead on Sunday are very slim."

The programme this afternoon features the Grade One Navan Novice Hurdle that principally should concern Noel Meade's hat-trick seeker Fully Funded and the 'Shark' Hanlon-trained Hidden Cyclone, which also scored in style over this course last time out.

These very promising types continue to progress with racing and, although Fully Funded prospered when sent over this two and a half

miles four weeks ago, marginal preference is for Hidden Cyclone to extend his undefeated sequence.

Meade has opted to declare Wednesday's Fairyhouse also-ran Aitmatov for the Philips Electronics Tara Hurdle in search of compensation for his final-flight tumble here previously behind Oscar Dan Dan and the nine-year-old takes a definite drop in class.

However, those midweek exertions could have left a mark and, in that eventuality, a safer wager might be to row in with Stonemaster on his seasonal return for Dessie Hughes, with Meade nominated to have his turn in the bumper with Soul Of Aran.

Indeed, the Meade yard will be expecting to hit the target once more in tomorrow's second division of the Irish Form Book Maiden Hurdle as dual bumper victor Dylan Ross tackles Dermot Weld's Duc de Savoie, which has been progressing steadily on the Flat.

Jim Dreaper's Notre Pere and Clan Tara for Paul Nolan revert to the smaller obstacles in the Proudstown Handicap Hurdle getting weight from the older Footy Facts, but this trio may be vulnerable to Cayo Levantado at the other end of the weight scale, even allowing for the fact that Gordon Elliott's charge has gone up 10lb in the ratings as a consequence of his convincing course and distance victory six weeks ago.

Irish Independent

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