navan 11th Nov
Navan racegoers are in for a treat with a strong seven-race card featuring the clash of Flemenstar and Big Zeb in the Irish Form Book Fortria Chase.
Peter Casey's young pretender won five of his six starts last term in a fine novice chase campaign that culminated in an 11-length romp in the Powers Gold Cup at Fairyhouse in April.
But Colm Murphy's six-time Grade One winner Big Zeb needs little introduction and Flemenstar will need to resume at peak form given the fact his main rival has won this race for the past three years.
Realt Dubh has enough to prove back at two miles, while Mr Cracker and Foildubh would be surprise winners.
Two also stand out in the Lismullen Hurdle, with last year's winner Voler La Vedette likely to face stiffest resistance from So Young.
Willie Mullins' gelding finished a long way behind Murphy's classy mare at Cheltenham in March, but time is on his side and testing ground suits best.
Seven of the last eight favourites have delivered for punters in the Grade Three 'For Auction' Novice Hurdle and it's not hard to envisage Sizing Rio topping the market this time.
The impressive Fairyhouse bumper scorer looks another hot prospect off the Henry de Bromhead production line and he seemingly has a bit more pace than half-brother Sizing Mexico.
Action starts with the Follow Navan Racecourse Facebook 3-Y-O Maiden Hurdle (12.45) and Our Conor must be a player first time out over timber considering his smart Flat form this summer.
Recent Punchestown winner Last Time D'Albain is still well treated in relation to his chase mark and rates a solid option in the St Johann Ski Resort Tirol Austria Handicap Hurdle, while Dylan Ross is worth another chance over fences in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase.
Blackmail and Eligible do battle for the concluding Martyns Specialist Equipment INH Flat Race.
Rory O'Moore has ways of making decent rivals look ordinary and the Ronnie O'Neill trained triple bumper winner shed his maiden tag over hurdles at Naas today, routing the field in the opening www.naasracecourse.com Maiden Hurdle.