You’d imagine from here on, if it hasn’t started already, that connections of any horse with aspirations of pitching up at the Cheltenham Festival would want to see them prove their credentials fairly shortly if they haven’t already done so. This was already the case during the week when the Willie Mullins-trained PANIC ATTACK made her racecourse bow in a Listed Bumper at Market Rasen, thus booking a place in the equivalent race in Prestbury Park in a few weeks time.
At Navan today, there are also likely to be a few steeds having their auditions for a trip to The Cotswolds. Foremost among the Henry De Bromhead’s MINELLA INDO who finished eight lengths behind Laurina when last seen though that form his since taken a battering with the latter bombing out at Leopardstown over Christmas.
Normally, I’d only dabble in handicaps for one of two reasons – where bookies are paying extra places and/or if horses are trying to secure their passage on a trip to England in early March. Both factors come into play today, so DOLCIANO DICI (1.55) and STOUGHAN CROSS (2.40) are well worth a look.
12.45: TRONADOR (DENIS O’REGAN/GORDON ELLIOTT)
1.20: FILS SPIRITUEL (DANNY MULLINS/WILLIE MULLINS)
1.55: DOLCIANO DICI – EW – (DANNY MULLINS/WILLIE MULLINS)
2.30: SIR BOB – EW – (MARK WALSH/ROBERT TYNER)
3.05: MINELLA INDO (RACHAEL BLACKMORE/HENRY DE BROMHEAD)
3.40: STOUGHAN CROSS – EW – (KEVIN BROUDER (3)/TOM GIBNEY)
4.10: ESKYLANE (JAMIE CODD/ GORDON ELLIOTT)