Navan Saturday: Doyenne a Definite Blot4 min read
I think a recent Cork winner will be ahead of the handicapper for a while.
14:10 Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Maiden
Hawaam is arguably the pick here and may start favourite for veteran handler Kevin Prendergast, but he’s not exactly progressive, and has something to prove tackling testing ground for the first time, so preference is for Pretty Boy Floyd, representing trainer Sarah Dawson and jockey Dylan Hogan. He was runner-up in a valuable sales race at the Curragh in September, and ran close to form when a front-running fourth in a big-field maiden at Naas recently. He handles the ground, has fitness on his side, and looks well worth a try at a stiff five furlongs.
Tip: Back Pretty Boy Floyd @
15:55 Arkle Bar Maiden
This doesn’t look a strong maiden for the track, and those with experience set a pretty low bar. Zayriyan is the pick of those seen out, and Dermot Weld’s son of Shamardal is sure to do better with a recent run under his belt. I’m taking a little bit of a shot in the dark with Rathbride Prince, however, and this debutant is worth a bet if he has half the ability his pedigree suggests. A son of Derby winner Pour Moi out of Italian Oaks runner-up Bright And Clear, herself a half-sister to Dante winner and champion juvenile Tenby from a tremendous Juddmonte Farms family, he is a half-brother to Group 2 Jockey Club Stakes winner Exosphere among others. Bred at Clare Castle Stud, like Classic winners Authorized and Order of St George, he was a vendor buy-back when offered for sale as a yearling, and is now in the care of Christy Roche’s son Padraig. Roche jr has already had a winner over hurdles having just been granted a licence in January, although this will be a first flat runner for him. The booking of Declan McDonagh takes the eye, and the rookie handler has found a good opportunity to get himself and his well-bred charge off the mark.
Tip: Rathbride Prince @
17:05 Follow Us On Twitter Handicap
Best chance of a winner at Navan comes in the shape of recent Cork scorer Definite Doyenne, who left her all-weather well behind switched to handicaps and last time by 5½ lengths from Rince Deireanach, who himself pulled well clear of the remainder. It’s clear that an opening handicap mark of 50 was much too lenient, and Philip Rothwell’s filly still looks to have something in hand despite being 12lb higher in this better race. Danny Sheehy, who did the steering last time, retains the ride, and she looks hard to oppose given the devastating nature of that recent success.
Tip: Back Definite Doyenne @