Here is tomorrow’s guide to the first six races at Navan as I tackle the Place 6 at Colossus.
Leg 1: (12.20 - Dunmoe Rated Novice Hurdle)
Noel Meade looks to have an exciting prospect in the shape of THEDEVILSCOACHMAN, who was last seen finishing a creditable fifth in the Future Champions Novices' Hurdle at Leopardstown. He lost little caste in defeat behind Appreciate It that day and, with that experience to draw upon, he’s feared most.
The Gordon Elliott-trained RIVIÈRE D’ETEL was heavily-gambled three weeks ago on hurdle bow and her supporters were never in a moment of worry as she won hard held on the bridle by twelve-lengths on heavy ground. She rates an exciting filly and, in receipt of weight from her main dangers, she will take plenty of beating.
Verdict: THEDEVILSCOACHMAN, RIVIÈRE D’ETEL
Leg 2: (12.50 - Graigs Lane Maiden Hurdle)
There’s a strong chance Gordon Elliott could have the winner of the first couple of races as he deploys the promising FOLCANO. He was a shade unfortunate to find one too good last time but his fourth on debut has worked out strongly, given the first, second and third have all won since. This is much easier, therefore, he’s the solid option and rates the likeliest winner.
BRAZOS was a high-class individual on the flat who was rated as high as 97 having claimed the 2018 Irish Cesarewitch. He was given a nice introduction to this sphere when fourth on hurdle debut 32 days ago and, with the application of cheek-pieces combined with the step up in trip likely to suit, he gets the each-way vote.
Verdict: FOLCANO, BRAZOS
Leg 3: (13.25 - Graigs Lane Maiden Hurdle)
Barbary Master has an obvious chance based on his experience to date over hurdles, but he meets a formidable opponent in GARS DE SCEAUX who gets the vote.
He shaped promisingly on his first try hurdling last time out and given the fact that he achieved a useful time-figure with significant improvement on just his second start, Gordon Elliott’s five-year-old has excellent prospects of going one better.
Verdict: GARS DE SCEAUX
Leg 4: (13.55 - Navan Handicap Hurdle (Grade B)
The highly-consistent AGUSTA GOLD has to be of some interest off her lower mark in this sphere. She’s a proven C&D winner who produced a career-best when winning 5-runner Grade 3 mares event last time out and has the back-class to defy this mark under suitable conditions.
WOLF PRINCE was once touted up to be a potential Triumph Hurdle candidate as a juvenile but unfortunately didn’t meet those expectations. However, he was second in a Grade-1 and chased home Aspire Tower in a Grade-2. He’s since turned in two more good runner-up efforts in a pair of Grade-Two’s recently and, with a strong pace in handicap company likely to aid his Chase, this strong-travelling type has each-way claims.
Of the remainder, the presence of Jack Kennedy taking the ride on former smart hurdler CAMPEADOR looks significant and he’s certainly well-treated to get involved if rediscovering his old form.
Verdict: AGUSTA GOLD, WOLF PRINCE, CAMPEADOR
Leg 5: (14.30 - Ardmulchan Handicap Hurdle (80-109)
These handicaps don’t get any easier but WILD CAPRICE remains a lightly-raced maiden and has showed promise already over hurdles, particularly when third last time. She makes her handicap debut from a decent mark and should go well.
ENSEL DU PERCHE fell on debut over fences 12 days ago, so it’s no surprise to see him back over the smaller obstacles in order to get back on track. He’ll handle conditions better than most and has a fair chance on form.
CASTLEGRANGE looked an improving sort over hurdles in a couple of novice hurdles and has been handed an opening handicap debut mark of 103, which could have underestimated his chances.
Verdict: WILD CAPRICE, ENSEL DU PERCHE, CASTLEGRANGE
Leg 6: (15.00 - Wilkinstown Beginners Chase)
LORD ROYAL was undoubtedly disappointing when well beaten at Naas last month, but still has very few miles on the clock. He looked set to make a successful debut over fences until falling two-out at Thurles and providing he can be more proficient at his fences, Willie Mullins’ charge should outclass today’s opposition and, in the process, open his account over fences.
Verdict: LORD ROYAL