The two big races at Navan on Sunday kind of have the look of match races and I have an opinion on both.
14.20 Boyne Hurdle 2m4f
Off You Go gets the vote ahead of Bachasson. The selection looked brilliant when swooping from a long way back to take the competitive Ladbroke Hurdle. As ever it was a strong race and the 8lb rise to 151 looks more than justified. This guy wasn’t off a yard when looked equally impressive when winning at Galway on his seasonal reappearance – he’s much more than a handicapper. In a small field the step up to 2m4f, which he has won at before, will suit. The lightly raced 6yo can take his first G2.
Bachasson won at Punchestown on New Year’s Eve but it was a weak enough race. He got 8lbs off Darasso (well beaten in Galmoy since) and 8lbs off Scarpeta (rated 147 with some potentially overrated novice form). More will be needed. Even his best chase form is questionable enough; A Toi Phil and Val de Ferbet chased him home in his two most recent wins.
3pts win Off You Go
15.25 Ten Up Novice Chase 3m
Chris’s Dream is the selection over Champagne Classic here. This trip isn’t for Any Second Now and I don’t like Blow by Blow at all. Agent Boru and Moonshine Bay don’t look to be good enough.
The two favourites were only separated by 1L in Naas 3wks ago. The dreaded unexplainable bounce factor might hit Champagne Classic on his second start after almost 2yrs off. CC was overrated as a novice hurdler for me. His big wins were a handicap off 138 and a G1 where Tin Soldier (140) was a close 3rd.
I expected more from Chris’s Dream the last day. The form of his beginners win conceding experience and fitness to Gun Digger with Shady Operator well held in 3rd is very strong. I think they made far too much use of him at Naas. Puppy set a strong pace and no surprise the race was fought out by those held up. If Rachael is more conservative he’ll have too much for these.
2pts win Chris’s Dream