Sunday 19 November 2017

O'Brien's Cenotaph looks the stand-out at Navan

O’Brien: Runs Together Forever (Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE)
O’Brien: Runs Together Forever (Barry Cregg / SPORTSFILE)
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Aidan O'Brien and his son Joseph combine for two runners at Navan and both are fancied to collect.

The formidable Ballydoyle firm's Waterloo Bridge gets the benefit of the doubt to score at the third attempt in the opening juvenile maiden. A son of Zoffany, he improved for an indifferent debut to be third to Round Two over six furlongs at Naas.

If he can build on that again over most of six furlongs in a first time hood, he is the one to beat. At the other end of proceedings, Cenotaph has nap appeal for the duo when he steps up in trip for the 10-furlong maiden.

Dermot Weld's newcomer New Agenda, a half-brother to the stable's smart Group-winning Tested, is the one to note in the market. However, Cenotaph sets a decent standard.

In two runs to date, he has finished second to fair sorts, most notably when chasing home the subsequent Irish 2,000 Guineas runner-up Endless Drama at Naas in the autumn. On his Navan reappearance over a mile last month, the War Front colt got done for toe by John Oxx's In My Pocket, which also looks a pretty useful prospect.

Today, Cenotaph might be helped by the longer trip, so he should score. Ger Lyons and Colin Keane are also expected to plunder a couple of prizes with Ardhoomey and Unsinkable.

Ardhoomey is poised to make a quick reappearance in the near six-furlong maiden after finishing a couple of lengths behind Morselle at Fairyhouse on Thursday. That was a fine turn behind three winners and with another three behind him, so he ought to have a big say in this open-looking contest.

Unsinkable has yet to fully fire this term. He didn't figure when sent off favourite for the Irish Lincoln, but he has done better since, most recently getting to within a couple of lengths of Lean And Keen in a competitive seven-furlong affair at Leopardstown.

That was a fine effort, yet he is three pounds lower in today's 10-furlong handicap. Taking the better ground into account as well, Unsinkable appears to have a lot going from him now.

Harry Rogers' redoubtable nine-year-old Calm Bay has a squeak in the five-furlong handicap, while Hurricane Sky might turn the tables on his recent Gowran Park conqueror Get Out Of Jail in the long-distance handicap.

Charles O'Brien's Fran Berry-ridden six-year-old is 10lbs better off this time, and he still has the scope to exploit that swing at the weights at this trip.

At Tramore, Willie Mullins could secure a brace with the course bumper winner Childrens List in the maiden hurdle and Westerner Lady in the bumper, but his Avant Tout is opposable in the beginners' chase.

While Ruby Walsh's mount is making its fencing bow and might well prove equal to the task, Henry de Bromhead's Viconte Du Noyer was of a similar level of ability over flights.

Placed behind Vautour and Gilgamboa on his first two chasing starts at Navan last winter, Viconte Du Noyer fell heavily at Naas subsequently. Provided his confidence hasn't unduly suffered, his experience might stand to him under Jonathan Burke.

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