Urtheoneiwant ready to waltz home and continue Byrne's revival at Navan
In the juvenile maiden, Donnacha's elder brother Joseph should get among the winners aboard the stable's General Marshall. Acquired for 1.15m guineas at a breeze-up sale in April, the War Front colt has been placed in each of his three starts to date, showing a level of ability that would suggest he should at least be capable of winning here.
Earlier on, ex-pat Tony Carroll sends over Caspian Prince for the €15,000 five-furlong conditions race. The Luke Morris-ridden speedball is top-rated of the five runners, with Tom McCourt's My Good Brother the one likely to give him most to do based on the race's weight structure.
When the pair clashed in the Rockingham at the Curragh in July, Caspian Prince emerged a couple of lengths to the good in second. He is a pound worse off here, but that isn't expected to be enough to swing the advantage My Good Brother's way.
In division two of the mile handicap, Maynooth handler John Geoghegan might collect with The Dancing Lord. Successful at Leopardstown in July, Geoghegan's five-year-old looked as though a return to a mile would suit when he finished second to Doc Holliday at the Curragh two weeks ago. He gets that now, so he is fancied to be thereabouts under Gary Halpin.
John Byrne rolled back the years when saddling Urtheoneiwant to score at Ballinrobe recently and the Ballymun native could repeat the dose at Navan this afternoon.
All of 21 years after saddling his only previous track winner, Byrne watched his Kayf Tara four-year-old break her maiden in decisive fashion, after only becoming active at the job again over the last number of years. Urtheoneiwant had previously improved to be second to Rae's Creek at the Co Mayo venue, having scooted up in a point-to-point back in April.
For a filly that cost just €2,000 a year ago, she has already proved a tremendous success, and she is napped to thwart a few useful sorts here. When Urtheoneiwant obliged under Davy Condon, she readily outpointed Storm Away and Padraig's Joy, both of which have since won at their leisure. Thursday's Laytown victor Sister Slew was also in behind, so the form looks really solid.
Pumped Up Kicks, Icy Reply and Railway Zira are all formidable opponents in their own right in today's mares' hurdle. However, Urtheoneiwant receives weight from each, so it is worth speculating that she can take advantage under her stand-in rider David Casey.
The ageless Casey also replaced Condon aboard Razia at Cork on Sunday after Flaxen Flare's horror fall left his colleague with three broken vertebrae. Razia went on to take the handicap hurdle quite impressively, and she appeals again here off a six-pound higher mark.
Oscar Vespasian is five pounds better off with Andrew Slattery's charge, having got to within four-and-a-quarter lengths of her at the Mallow track. That certainly gives him a chance, but Razia is progressive enough to follow up.
In the opening maiden hurdle over two-and-a-half miles, Harry Kelly's promising Thurles bumper winner On Impulse reappears for a first time since February. While all bar one of On Impulse's nine rivals have the benefit of a summer outing, Sean Flanagan's mount is still fancied to have too much quality, as he is a son of Flemensfirth that looks to have a bright future.
Tandem is the one to beat in the two-mile equivalent later on. Dermot Weld's 105-rated Flat horse was well fancied on his jumping bow at Galway. Robbie McNamara rode him confidently on that occasion, but a last-flight error impeded his momentum en route to his finishing third behind Most Peculiar and Draco.
The runner-up has since won, as have the fourth, fifth and sixth - Hash Brown, Gusty Rock and Tawseef. In the context of today's race, that is blue-chip form, so Tandem and McNamara ought to justify likely short odds.
At Dundalk tomorrow, Ballydoyle's Quartz is nap material in the apprentices' maiden. A half-brother to Kingsbarns, Donnacha O'Brien's mount ran well for a long way when third to Shemshal on his recent Bellewstown debut. On soft ground, Quartz was just outpointed by race-fit rivals, so he will prove a formidable opponent now.
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