navan 16th Dec
Don Cossack attempts to live up to the hype surrounding him in the Grade One Navan Novice Hurdle.
Gordon Elliott's high-class bumper performer made a seamless transition to jumping when cruising home over two miles at this venue last month, but will have his mettle tested by Grade Two winner Busty Brown, who accounted for the reopposing Seefood on the same afternoon.
Rule The World claimed the scalp of Joncol last week and the Willie Mullins pair Pont Alexandre and Reine Angevine add further spice to a mouthwatering showdown.
Mullins finally takes the wraps off Boston Bob in the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase at 12.25.
The exciting seven-year-old lost his unbeaten record over obstacles when failing to peg back Brindisi Breeze at the Cheltenham Festival, but he already features prominently in ante-post RSA Chase lists, even though this will be the first time he has been seen in public over the bigger obstacles.
His stablemate Simenon was a bitter disappointment behind Un Beau Matin and Owega Star at Punchestown and gets his opportunity for revenge in the Tara Hurdle.
Whatuthink tries to prove his defeat of Voler La Vedette in the Lismullen Hurdle was no fluke, while Sailors Warn and Muirhead will have their supporters as well.
The Irish Form Book 'Future Champions' INH Flat race also carries Grade Two status and sees course and distance winner Champagne James tackling fellow unbeaten four-year-olds Gilt Shadow and Union Dues.
The Tony Martin-trained Wingtips was fourth behind Busty Brown here last time and has his sights lowered for the HRI On-Line Client Website Maiden Hurdle.
Martin's Matsukaze has the assistance of Ruby Walsh as he steps out of maiden company for the first time in the www.hri.ie/login Handicap Hurdle, while prolific winners Mr Goodenough and Saoirse Dun lock horns in the 'Prancer And Dancer' Handicap Chase.
Far West maintained his unbeaten record in matter-of-fact style when taking the JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial, the opening contest on the second day of Cheltenham's International meeting.