Navan Sunday Preview - 15/12/19

Navan - Irish Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle - 11:30 - Blackbow

Smart bumper winner BLACKBOW returned from a 563-day absence to just be denied at this venue last month under similar race conditions and he looks the one to beat in this opening contest at Navan.

This largely-consistent sort put some nice form together last term in Bumpers and despite lacking experience over hurdles he should have enough natural ability, given his pedigree, to open his account over hurdles here in what doesn’t appear the most competitive event.

Navan - Navan Novice Hurdle - 12:00 - Andy Dufresne

Despite Willie Mullins having a terrific record in this race, Gordon Elliot has taken this contest twice in recent years and could be set for win number three courtesy of big Cheltenham hope Andy Dufresne.

The JP Mcmanus-owned gelding showed an impressive turn of foot to pull right away from his rivals, having travelled best of all, in testing conditions at this venue last month and looks set to go right to the top for his well-regarded connections.

With several other promising types not heading for the Grade 2 event this son of Doyen looks hard to oppose here and should only further enhance his festival claims.

Navan - 12:30 - Tara Handicap Hurdle - No Bet

Navan - 13:00 - John Lynch Carpets Maiden Hurdle - Run Wild Fred

The in-form Gordon Elliot has landed this event several times in recent years, and Run Wild Fred could be up to enhancing his trainers record in the race having shaped well on his first start over hurdles earlier on in the campaign.

This son of Shantou put some smart form together in bumpers last term and didn’t finish too far behind 2019 Champion Bumper winner Envoi Allen in two defeats.

This race doesn’t appear the strongest and connections may have found a nice opportunity for him to get off the mark at the second time of asking, arriving fresh from a 71-day lay-off.

Navan - 14:05 - Handicap Chase - Shanroe Al C

The second handicap event of the afternoon is the Handicap Chase over two-and-a-half miles and we’re keen about the chances of recent chase winner Shanroe Al C.

Karl Thornton’s 6-y-o was an impressive scorer in his first handicap over the larger obstacles last time, and given he won off a mark of 106 over hurdles, he looked way ahead of his handicap mark previously and should still have further improvement in him despite a 16lb rise.

Big chance.

Navan - 14:35 - Handicap Chase - Minella Till Dawn

We have another trappy handicap contest and we are siding with Gordon Elliot’s Minella Till Dawn who looks the pick of a trio of runners with live chances.

Mark Walsh’s mount returns to a trip he was last successful at during his P2P days, and given how he shaped over slightly shorter on reappearance this distance should only bring about further improvement.

Handles conditions.

Navan - 15:10 - 'Future Champions' Flat Race - Pencilfulloflead

The last race of the afternoon is the 'Future Champions' Listed event over 2m and the jolly looks a worthy favourite in this for the same connections who took this race with big Cheltenham hotpot Envoi Allen back in 2018.

Gordon Elliot’s runner sauntered to success under hands and heels on his first start under rules, despite showing signs of inexperience on occasions, and with that run under his belt he should only find further improvement.

The yard have landed this race the past four seasons.