Swan's Make A Track can blaze trail past Navan rivals
Charlie Swan's promising hurdler Make A Track is napped to make a successful reappearance in the Albany Hurdle at Navan this afternoon.
The Gigginstown Stud-owned six-year-old faces nine rivals in the two-mile-six-furlong contest, with Willie Mullins' Local Celebrity probably the main danger to the selection.
A winner of both his completed hurdling starts, Local Celebrity is proven on the prevailing testing ground, but his form doesn't quite match Make A Track's.
Placed in Graded company last year, the Hernando gelding defied his novice status to run commendably in the Boylesports.com Hurdle at Leopardstown and the conditional jockeys' hurdle at Cheltenham in March, finishing fifth and fourth respectively.
Those were two cracking efforts in competitive handicaps, and little need be read into a subsequent lifeless turn at Fairyhouse towards the season's end.
If Make A Track shows up close to his best now, he should take plenty of stopping under Davy Russell, while Swan might also take the opening maiden hurdle with the David Casey-ridden Sands Cove.
Although 23 line out here, it is a race that lacks depth and Sands Cove, a facile Roscommon bumper winner last year, could prove a class apart.
Just six go to post for the €20,000 Le Grande Chase, one of which is Oliver Brady's durable Imperial Shabra, a game winner of a decent contest at Galway earlier in the month.
The busy front-runner should have a chance, but Noel Meade's Donnas Palm, a six-time course winner, might have his measure on his first outing of the campaign.
When the pair clashed at Leopardstown in March, Donnas Palm came out a few lengths to the good in second, and he is on 5lb better terms under Paul Carberry now.
Silverhand is also fancied for Carberry and Meade in the beginners' chase.
Stablemate Johannisberger and Dessie Hughes' Tofino Bay are the dangers, but Silverhand looked on pretty good terms with himself when posting a cheeky victory over hurdles at Galway last time out.