Navan Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 4f

  • (4yo+, 2m 4f, Class 1, 2 runners)
  • Winner €45,500 2nd €13,300 3rd €6,300 4th €2,100
  • Going: Good to Yielding, Good in places
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 5m 4.50s
  • Off time: 13:06:36

Full Result

13:05 Navan
Pos Dist Horse Trainer Age Weight Jockey SP
1st 3 Briar Hill (IRE) W P Mullins 5 11-10 R Walsh 1/4f
SP 1/4f Made all, slight mistake 3 out and pushed along, went clear from before last, stayed on well opened 1/5
2nd 2 Azorian (IRE) E Griffin 5 11-10 D N Russell 11/4
SP 11/4 Tracked leader, hung off bend approaching 6th and lost ground, quickly made it up, closed 3 out, pushed along before next, no impression and kept on same pace from before last opened 7/2
NR 1 Apache Stronghold (IRE) N Meade 5 11-10 P Carberry
NR 4 Very Wood (FR) N Meade 4 11-6 B J Cooper

Betting Breakdown

Tote Win £1.10 Exacta £1.10

Placepot €35.00

Analysis

A disappointing turn out for a prize whose recent winners include Mikael d'Haguenet, Boston Bob, Oscars Well and Pont Alexandre but an intriguing contest nonetheless. Azorian had shown a decent level of form in bumpers and run well behind the absent Apache Stronghold in the Monksfield so was no push over for the Cheltenham Champion bumper winner. Azorian had made the running in both starts over hurdles but Davy Russell was content to play the cat to Ruby Walsh's mouse and delivered his mount to pounce at the perfect time. Momentarily it appeared as though BRIAR HILL might be in a spot of bother but he gradually started to pull away and was well on top at the line. The winner certainly doesn't appear to be a horse that has a sharp turn of foot but it's hard to fault his record or this performance which was never likely to show him to best effect. His hurdling still leaves something to be desired and that could pose a problem further down the line in a more competitive, truly run event but it's perfectly feasible that his jumping will improve granted those conditions with his best leap coming at the last once he'd been galvanised by Walsh. The double figure prices available for both the Albert Bartlett and the Neptune make plenty of appeal despite the odd question mark but connections are highly unlikely to be in a rush to commit him to either race. Boston Bob and Pont Alexandre both ran in a two and a half mile Grade Two at Leopardstown at the end of January before heading to England but his trainer mentioned the Slaney Hurdle at Naas as a possibility for his next contest which was the route Mikael d'Haguenet took and would allow sufficient time for him to gain more experience before the spring meetings should connections desire. Wherever he ends up, it's to be hoped that a more thorough test of his credentials awaits.