Paul Ferguson has two for us on Sunday; Don Cossack in the 13.25 (Nav) and Real Milan in the 15.00 (Car). Compare odds and bet.
Navan takes centre stage on Sunday and the card hits the ground running with the chasing debut of Boston Bob in the opening beginners’ chase. He will rightfully be sent off at prohibitive odds, but the current RSA Chase second favourite is one to watch closely on this first start over the larger obstacles.
He took the Grade 1 Navan Novice Hurdle last year and this year’s renewal can go the way of the hugely exciting Don Cossack (1:25) who made a very pleasing debut over timber here three weeks ago.
A Grade 2 bumper winner at the track, the step up in trip is sure to suit the five-year-old who is one of the best young prospects in Ireland at present. It will be disappointing if he can’t take care of those we know about, with the potential fly in the ointment being Pont Alexandre.
For Willie Mullins to throw him straight in to this company, he has clearly shown plenty at home, though to date has only won a six-runner race at Cholet (a race that I cannot find anywhere on the internet to watch). While the fact that his participation indicates he is highly regarded, he is going to have to be pretty special to make a winning debut in the Ricci silks.
The selection opened up at 4/5 with Paddy Power on Saturday evening; I had expected him to be shorter to be honest, given the regard in which he is held and the promise he has shown to date. We will learn a whole lot more this afternoon.
The same firm priced up David Pipe’s Poole Master 5/4 favourite for the Carlisle Beginners’ Chase but, at the prices, he is taken on with Real Milan (3:00) who represents the in-form Donald McCain stable.
The seven-year-old won his first two starts for the yard last year, in a Uttoxeter maiden and a Haydock novice hurdle, before he finished fourth in a really hot contest back at the Merseyside track.
The winner, the ill-fated Brindisi Breeze, went on to score at the Cheltenham Festival; the second home Harry Topper is two from two over fences this season (including a Grade 2); fifth home Ambion Wood won his two subsequent starts including the EBF Final; and even eighth home Fighting Flynn won again afterwards.
That is a solid piece of form and, given that he has always been regarded as a chaser in waiting, he could well go on to better things now he goes over fences. Jason Maguire’s mount opened up 13/8 with the Irish firm last night.
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Last Year’s Book Results – Leading Prospects:
- SPRINTER SACRE – Unbeaten – winner at Aintree & Cheltenham
- SIMONSIG – Winner at Aintree & Cheltenham
- CINDERS AND ASHES – 10/1 winner of Supreme Novices Hurdle
- BOBS WORTH – 9/2 winner of the RSA Chase
- MENORAH & SILVINIACO CONTI – Both Aintree Winners
- SIR DES CHAMPS – Unbeaten inc 3/1 Jewson Cheltenham Winner
- FINGAL BAY – Won 4 times inc Challow Hurdle
- RAYA STAR – 10/3 winner at Wetherby, 12/1 Ladbroke Hurdle winner, 15/2 Scottish Champion Hurdle winner
- AMBION WOOD – 14/1 EBF Final Sandown winner
- CHAMPION COURT – 6/1 G2 Dipper Novices Chase winner
- PALACE JESTER – 14/1 winner at FFos Las
- SWINCOMBE FLAME – Hat-trick winner inc Lanzarote Hurdle at 9/2
- TEAFOR THREE – 5/1 NH Cheltenham Chase winner (Manifesto Novices’ Chase)