NAVAN Sat: Navan is the port of call this Saturday with a competitive looking eight-race card from the County Meath track.
⭕ The action begins with a fillies’ maiden (1:40pm) over 5½f. Having narrowly missed out on her recent debut over 7f at Leopardstown, Ciao For Now looks to have a strong chance of putting that experience to good use and going one better. Whether this drop in trip will suit Jessica Harrington’s runner remains to be seen, but it’s hard to go against her on the evidence of last time.
⭕ Next up is a rated race (2:15pm) over the same trip of 5½f. Ger Lyon’s Storm Miami carries most weight here, but she does bring strong form to the table having been beaten only a neck in a Listed race two starts back. However, she may struggle to give six pounds away to Aidan O’Brien’s Gloucester who was a good winner at Cork last time.
⭕ Another sprint (2.50pm), this time over 5f, features a big field of 23 runners. Universally went close recently at Naas and looks a player once again. The one to be on may be Michael O’Callaghan’s Siesta Beach in the Amo Racing colours. This daughter of Oasis Dream continues to plummet in the weights, but didn’t run badly when third over this trip at Naas last time out. Having now dropped a further four pounds, she looks too well-handicapped to ignore.
⭕ The next 5f handicap (3:25pm) see a much smaller field of seven runners. The Highway Rat won a Group 3 at Dundalk two years ago and is still lightly raced for a five-year-old after only 14 starts. Andy Oliver’s charge has only been seen once this season, when finishing a narrow second to Laugh A Minute over 5f at the Curragh in March. He’s been dropped two pounds for that effort and is clearly capable of going well when fresh, so a good run can be expected.
⭕ The following maiden over a mile (4:00pm) doesn’t look the strongest of races. Joseph O’Brien’s once-raced Coco Crush is put forward as a speculative selection. She wasn’t disgraced on debut when sixth of 11 at the Curragh in July. That was over 7f and on pedigree she should be suited to this greater test of stamina.
⭕ Race six is the first of two divisions of the Gormanlough Apprentice Handicap (4:35pm), run over 1m2f. Kampala Beach was a ready winner of a 1m1f handicap at Leopardstown last month and has only gone up four pounds in the weights as a result. That form was franked when the third placed finished a narrow runner-up subsequently, so Micky Halford & Tracy Collins’ runner looks worth chancing again.
⭕ The second division of the Gormanlough Apprentice Handicap (5:10pm) looks a touch weaker. Tasayad is interesting on his handicap debut, as is last-time-out winner Red Trail, but it might be worth siding with the John McConnell-trained Dinamine. While this five-year-old is still a maiden after 23 starts, he has only had two runs for his current yard, who do so well with these sorts of recruits. It wouldn’t be a surprise were he to run well.
⭕ The finale is a maiden (5:40pm) over 1m2f. There are a couple of newcomers of note in An Bradan Feasa and Guinevere’s Spirit, who need to be watch carefully in the betting. Perhaps Donnacha O’Brien’s Earth Dance, who finished third in a strong maiden at the Curragh recently, can take a step forward in what looks a lesser contest.