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Bryan Cooper: I have a strong book of rides at Navan on Saturday


Bryan Cooper: I have a strong book of rides at Navan on Saturday

Bryan Cooper: I have a strong book of rides at Navan on Saturday

12.00 Navan

Black Key

Was a decent 1m4f-1m6f horse when trained by Hughie Morrison in England last year. I sat on him at Henry’s yesterday, and he jumped very well. He may need a bit further than this in time but this is a good starting point for him and he was an 80+-rated horse on the Flat, so I am hopeful of a good show. There are plenty in here who look pretty smart rivals, though, with the likes of Chirico Vallis, C’ Est Jersey and bumper winner Belle Helene and point scorer Caliption.

12.35 Navan

Three Swallowsnick

She has won both her points and been impressive in both her bumpers. There are some unexposed horses in here but I think she sets the benchmark talent-wise, even if she obviously hasn’t run over hurdles yet.  I schooled her at Gordon’s on Friday, and she is a lovely filly and a good prospect.

1.45pm Navan


Even though all his form has been over 2m to date, I think he may need further in time, but clearly 2m1f around here will be fine for him. He was a smart bumper and novice hurdler and he has run well on all three of his chase starts, including behind Identity Thief at Punchestown last time.  There are only four runners in here but this is a very good race, though, and Briar Hill is obviously a dual Grade 1 winner who won well over an extended 2m4f at Killarney back in August. However, he could find this trip on the sharp side, which gives us all hope.

2.20pm Navan

Ball D’Arc

This is his first start in handicap company, and I think he is on a fair mark.  He has had a fair bit of experience over fences now, and ran well enough when fourth to Identity Thief at Punchestown last time. He was a good hurdler – in fact his hurdle mark is 10lb higher than his chasing mark – and he has a lovely racing weight with 10st 6lb. I think he has a fair chance.

2.55 Navan

Prince Of Scars

He beat Alpha Des Obeaux over 3m in the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle last year and I think that is what trip he will want over fences. There are not that many Beginners’ Chases this side of Christmas but he has jumped and schooled well, and made a good chasing debut over 2m3f at Naas last month. This stiffer 2m4f will hopefully be okay for him, and he should be hard to beat.

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