Katie Walsh: My horses to watch at Navan on Sunday
The Betway ambassador picks out her fancies for Sunday's racing in Ireland, including a potential Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase contender.
I’m really looking forward to Navan on Sunday, it’s such a shame that we can’t go as this race day is always blinding.
With Noel Meade’s horses still going great guns, I’m hoping his Jesse Evans goes well in the Grade 3 Novice Hurdle (12:30). He is seeking a hat-trick of wins in this sphere and had a good second in a maiden a couple of weeks ago, which would have put him spot on for this.
It’s a competitive race, as it often is, especially with Gordon Elliott’s horse Eskylane in the race.
The Fortria Chase (14:10) should be pretty easy to solve. A Plus Tard is going to take all of the beating and as he’s only six, he’ll have plenty of improvement in him this year. He could end up being a real contender for the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase come March.
The Troytown Chase (13:35) has been won by some very good horses over the years and this is another good edition of the race.
Scoir Mear was a good winner at Wexford last time out, he jumped and travelled beautifully and could have been called the winner from way out. If he comes here in that sort of form, he’ll be tough to beat. Simon Torrens, who is a class young jockey, takes off a very valuable 5lb too.
The Lismullen Hurdle (13:00) is often the starting point for some of the best staying hurdlers of the season. Some great names have it won it over the years, including Apple’s Jade for Gordon Elliott in 2017 and 2018.
Gordon saddles Sire Du Berlais in this year’s race and, on ratings, he’s the one to beat. He’s won the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham for the past two years and this is his time to see whether he can step up to Graded level. While this is only over 2m 4f, you’ll see plenty of improvement from all of them as they all step up in trip again after this.
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