Irish Eyes: Alderwood to win - and win well
Our racing column Irish Eyes picks out the fancies ahead of Sunday's racing at Navan.
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Alderwood is the nap of the whole weekend and there will be some very disappointed faces around Navan if he can't win this beginners' chase - and win it easily.
Alderwood managed to take the County Hurdle at last year's Cheltenham festival as well as a Grade One Novice Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival.
He made his debut here at Navan in a good race won by Sword of Destiny but slipped up on the flat while staying on near the finish. His next run was at Naas when he was a close two-and-a-quarter length third, staying on behind Canaly and Terminal.
Canaly won his next start and Terminal has since won a beginners' chase too, so Alderwood's chase form is holding up well too. He will improve when as the ground gets better later in the year but should still take a race of this nature at his ease.
Saoirse Dun is the choice in the big race of the day, the Foxrock Handicap Chase.
Having gained her handicap mark after three starts over fences, she started life in handicaps off a mark of just 84. She proceeded to rack up a hat-trick off marks of 94 and 98 and was raised to a new mark of 110.
She was travelling well early on when bidding for a four-timer before making a mistake and falling at the fourth fence last week in Cork and still appears to be the best handicapped horse in this race.
Sunday Selections (Navan):
Alderwood (Nap) - 2.15
Saoirse Dun (Next Best) - 3.15