It was nice to get another winner at Fairyhouse last weekend with Fil Dor in the Grade 3 juvenile hurdle on Sunday. He followed up his debut win in Down Royal in good style and I thought was very professional.
Moving on to Saturday and I’m heading to Navan. I’ve set the alarm clock as it’s an early start! There’s been a little bit of rain about which in fairness we needed.
I’ll be back with a new blog on Saturday evening looking ahead to my Punchestown rides on Sunday when it’s John Durkan day.
I’ve also run through the big UK races on Saturday in Sandown and Aintree with Bill and Johnny and you can watch that Zoom Room below ….
11:30am PREVARICATE Kilberry Pub & Kitchen Maiden Hurdle (Div I) 2m 4f
Prevaricate runs here (also held an entry for Cork Sunday) and I’m hoping he can build on a really promising debut over hurdles in Naas where he chased home Uhtred. The winner is really useful and was far from disgraced the last day in the Grade 1 Royal Bond. My fella travelled well for me and there were plenty of runners behind so am hopeful it’s half decent form. He’s really strengthened up since last year but we’ve a tough nut to crack here in the shape of Whatdeawant from Willie’s (Mullins) yard who has smart bumper form.
12:00pm FANTASIO D’ALENE Kilberry Pub & Kitchen Maiden Hurdle (Div II) 2m 4f
Fantasio D’Alene is back after a long break after things didn’t go right for him in Punchestown back in January. He was second but beaten a long way behind Pure Genius. He’s done well for the break and hopefully we can start making up a bit for lost time. He’s run well after a break before so that wouldn’t be a worry for me. It’s another big field and Gordon’s (Elliott) other one The Goffer wasn’t beaten far on his hurdles debut in Roscommon whilst Highland Charge was in at the deep end on his hurdling debut behind Eric Bloodaxe in Naas.
12:33pm GINTO Navan Novice Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m 4f
The drop of rain we’ve had which I mentioned should help Ginto’s chances. I thought he looked good when winning well here last month on his hurdles debut (pictured below) and whilst this is a much tougher challenge he’s entitled to have a tilt at it. He’s had a great start winning a point, bumper and hurdles race from just four starts. Gordon’s other runner Mr Fred Rogers has plenty of stamina and won going away in Punchestown over 2m 5f. But there’s no doubt the one we both have to beat is Eric Bloodaxe who won his maiden hurdle in grand style the last day.
1:08pm DUFFLE COAT Bective Stud Handicap Hurdle (Grade B) 3m 1/2f
He made hay last year winning four races in the space of a couple of months finishing up in Cheltenham where Duffle Coat won the Triumph Hurdle Trial in some style (pictured below). He’s been kept quite busy since on the flat so won’t lack for fitness but the concern must be that this will be a much tougher challenge for him against some more seasoned handicappers.
2:18pm FAROUK D’ALENE Navan Racecourse Beginners Chase 2m 4f
The first day at school for Farouk D’Alene over fences but he did well for us over hurdles and brings some class to the table. He’s a big staying horse who should be suited by the chasing game. This looks competitive though – another big field and dangers include Keskonrisk who was mixing it at the top table over hurdles.