Gary O'Brien: Three to back at Navan today as Tiger Roll returns to action

Navan races
Gary has three selections from today's exciting meeting at Navan

It promises to be a cracking afternoon of racing at Navan with all eyes on the return of Tiger Roll. Gary O'Brien has three selections on a competitive card...

"Given the way she finished last time after meeting some traffic in the straight today's stiffer track also promises to be more suitable."

Back Rapid Response each-way in the 14:55 Navan at 8/1 on the Betfair Sportsbook

Tiger Roll is the headline act on a really interesting Sunday card at Navan but the dual Grand National hero looks to have plenty on his plate as he bids to win the Grade 2 Boyne Hurdle for the second year running.

The diminutive 10-year-old must concede weight to his eight rivals and trainer Gordon Elliott has been at pains to point out that expectations are low.

Tiger Roll at National finish 2019 1280.jpg

He also faces a big improver in the shape of Kilfenora, who took his form to another level when landing a second successive valuable handicap over today's course and distance last time, as well as old rival Magic Of Light. The latter of course overcame some serious errors to chase home the 'Tiger' at Aintree last April and would just about be my pick today after a fine victory at Ascot last time but to be honest I was expecting a bigger price than 11/4.

Hoping for a Rapid return by backing Response

Fortunately the same connections' Rapid Response is a much more backable proposition in the mares handicap hurdle at a current 8/1 on the Betfair Sportsbook, which is also paying four places. It must be said that this is a highly competitive affair, with a number of the runners bringing strong recent form to the table, but none appeals as having as much upside as the top-weight.

A stoutly-bred daughter of Network, she has been lightly-raced since making a promising debut in December 2018. However after a mishap on her handicap bow at Leopardstown's Christmas meeting when taken out by an early faller, she turned in a fine effort to be third at Naas just eight days later. It's worth remembering that her yard was only just beginning to emerge from a very quiet spell around that time, and the Harrington horses have been acquitting themselves a good deal better of late.

Given the way she finished last time after meeting some traffic in the straight today's stiffer track also promises to be more suitable.

Step up in trip should help us Beat the Odds

Beating The Odds looks interesting off bottom weight in the 2m7f handicap hurdle after a much-improved performance at Fairyhouse on his own handicap debut.

Trainer Willie Austin and jockey Trevor Ryan have formed a formidable partnership this season, notching six wins from 19 runs for a 32% strike rate and a healthy profit to level stakes, and this Oscar gelding showed promise in point-to-points and maiden company earlier in his career. Today's step up in distance should also enable him to be produced later after getting mugged on the run-in last time.

Captain will relish testing ground

The Ten Up Novice Chase at 16:00 looks an open affair but I'm hoping Captain CJ can deservedly shed his maiden tag in Graded company.

Dermot McLoughlin's charge has run with credit in some of the hottest beginners chases of the season and made the top-class Minella Indo work to get the better of him over this course and distance last month. He will relish the testing ground and should go close again.

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