It feels like the attention on National Hunt Racing is turned up a notch as we head into the end of September, Rachael Blackmore will be heading to the Listowel Festival next week which is often a marker for the season ahead, before that she shares her views on four rides at Navan today.
It was an incredibly sad week with the loss of Pat Smullen to the racing community, he was an incredible man both with his achievements in the saddle and his fundraising efforts whilst dealing with his illness. My thoughts are with his wife Frances and his children Hannah, Sarah and Paddy at this difficult time.
My day at Navan gets underway in the opening race which is a two-mile Maiden Hurdle with Annexation for Henry, he has been a nice addition to the yard winning over seven at Gowran before running well when second at both Navan and Galway. I am really pleased he heads over hurdles given his rating of 77 from the flat and his liking for softer ground you would be hopeful he would stay. He has schooled well at home; we have everything crossed he can turn into a nice hurdler and take to jumping.
Next up for me is Arthur Fonzarelli in the two-mile ladies’ handicap hurdle, he finally got his act together last time out at Killarney when winning a maiden hurdle from Belfast Banter. He should be competitive here with this being his first run in a handicap.
My third ride of the day is on Premium Package in a two-mile six-furlong hurdle, he won very nicely the last day at Down Royal stepping up a little further today should suit him and we are hopeful he can progress again. He is a nice type and I am looking forward to riding him here.
My final ride at Navan comes on Somptueux in the Beginners Chase over two miles four, he was a good second at Downpatrick under Hugh Morgan and has been second in a Point to Point, we are hopeful he can improve again and has been doing everything well at home.