Monday 19 March 2018

Swan's Prince can put Navan rivals to sword

Damien McElroy

Despite the forecast for frost overnight, there should be no real problems with today's meeting at Navan, which was postponed from last Saturday to facilitate the re-fixed MCR Hurdle meeting at Leopardstown.

In the wake of last week's hectic schedule to compensate for the previous fortnight of inactivity during the big freeze, runners in today's races are relatively scarce with the exception of the opening maiden hurdle.

For instance, just five of the 16 original entries for the Golf Club Open For Membership Hurdle have been declared, with Charlie Swan's highly regarded Prince Of Fire likely to prove a very popular fancy.


David Casey took no prisoners aboard this progressive five-year-old in a competitive maiden hurdle at Leopardstown a month ago and in the process they foiled a gamble on French import Grey Soldier, which made a race of it with hotpot Rite Of Passage back at the Dublin course on Sunday.

That level of accomplishment suggests Swan's charge will manage to follow up now, even if Magnanimity managed to land a maiden hurdle from Lucky William over this route in December.

Magnanimity's owner Michael O'Leary and retained rider Davy Russell could fare better in the Membership Maiden Hurdle as Mr Cracker makes a quick reappearance after his narrow Naas defeat by Ballyholland.

A repetition of that effort could suffice here for Michael Hourigan's hitherto luckless sort to gain the verdict over Pauline Gavin's Ad Idem on which Andrew McNamara resumes after his heavy Naas fall.

An hour later the Limerick pilot will be hopeful of belatedly making it into the winner's enclosure on Edward O'Grady's Acapulco, which lost out by a short head in successive outings in Cork and at Leopardstown.

Former Ballydoyle inmate Acapulco should profit from a step up in trip after finishing well to push Western Leader to the limit at the Foxrock track and looks a must for inclusion in the Jackpot opener.

Robert Tyner's long trip from Kinsale with Grab A Grand for the Irish Stallion Farms Beginners Chase can pay off if Philip Enright's mount repeats his good comeback effort when running Sigma Lifestyle close at Punchestown.

Irish Independent

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