There will hardly be a weekend in Ireland between now and a certain get-together in the Cotswolds come March that won't be chock-full of some of the island's finest National Hunt stars, flexing their muscles and advertising their Cheltenham credentials.
A cracking meeting then at Navan on Saturday, Nov 18th - eight races, from 11.50 - 15.50. All the major players are here - enjoy!
11.50 Dancing City @ 6/4
A two-and-a-half-mile maiden hurdle, with some stellar yards represented. Typically big field for such a contest, but two dominate the early betting exchanges from the all-conquering stables of Messrs Elliott and Mullins.
Willie provides the selection Dancing City, in the famous colours of Mrs Donnelly. Very respectable bumper form, including one win and a point success too. He makes his hurdling debut and his famous handler needs absolutely no introduction. Paul Townend rides.
Gordon's entrant is Gigginstown's Stellar Story, reappearing again after fruitful forays into the pointing and NH flat race spheres. He's likely to prove a formidable foe but one or two of Gordon's have been beaten in recent days when well-fancied and I'm hopeful that Willie has the answer.
14.40 - Captain Guinness @ 6/4
The Fortria Chase, over 2 miles, and a nice prize to be had. The selection Captain Guinness is an 8-yr-old gelding who's smart - and has scored here before over the trip. He has an entry in the Tingle Creek at Sandown, and at 160 is readily the highest-rated in the field. He's burdened with 11st 10lb as a consequence, but has the class to overcome that, fingers crossed.
He's won first-time out before so hopefully will strip fit and well for master trainer Henry De Bromhead and jockey Rachael Blackmore. It's a small field but Willie fields two and Gordon one, so it will be one heck of a contest.
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