Preview Navan 8th Dec

Fri 7th Dec 2012, 13:40

Punters will be scratching their heads over the valuable Proudstown Handicap Hurdle at Navan, which looks a wide-open affair.

Coole Avenue is an obvious contender having won at Listowel and Galway recently, but Roi Du Mee also goes in search of a hat-trick and Away We Go returned to action with a good win at Fairyhouse.

Though beaten into third on his reappearance, Western Leader has been Grade One placed over timber so is another to add to a lengthy shortlist.

Dylan Ross won with some ease here last month and returns to the track in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Novice Chase.

Noel Meade's charge has some illustrious company, though, not least Oscars Well, a Grade One winner over hurdles who fell at the second when last seen over fences.

Meade also holds claims in the Navan Golf Course Beginners Chase with Ipsos Du Berlais, who made a satisfactory debut over fences when second at Galway in October.

However, Willie Mullins may hold the key as he sends Grade One winning hurdler Marasonnien over the larger obstacles for the first time since his days in France.

Those runs ended in defeat, but his victory at the Punchestown Festival suggests he has improved markedly since.

Meade and Mullins clash in the opening race at 12.15, the Kells Maiden Hurdle.

Meade runs Fickle Fortune, a good second in a Listed bumper at this track last month, while Un Atout raced just once for Mullins last term, winning a Naas bumper by 24 lengths.

Mullins may have found an ideal opportunity for The Paparrazi Kid to open his account over timber in the Irish Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle, though Aonvarr should not be underestimated.

Rule The World just missed out behind Our Vinnie at Cork last month and could get the better of Benevolent and Joncol in the Meath Novice Hurdle.

Will there be another Irish winner at Aintree?

A lot has been said recently about the fact that the Irish contingent at Cheltenham tend to stoke up the fires of Anglo-Irish needle with their flag waving and chest beating due to our incredible success in recent years. As pointed out previously, this is nothing more than a bit of harmless fun that some folk on both sides of the Irish Sea take a little too seriously.