Gordon Elliott returns with 10 runners on the Sunday at Navan. Get the lowdown on the horses to feature in the outing here...
"This race was always the plan for Felix Desjy after he won his maiden hurdle at Galway last month. In his bumpers he had a habit of racing too keenly but I thought that he settled well at Galway which was encouraging."
Some ego on him
12:35 Serious Ego
I was pleased with his first run in a handicap at Down Royal last week when he finished fifth over three miles. He jumped and travelled well and didn't look like a horse who hadn't run in a handicap before so I'm hopeful that he will be able to make his mark before long. Possibly the three mile trip at Down Royal stretched him so he should do better back over this trip and a performance similar to the one he produced last week should see him run well.
Two talented hoses
13:05 Felix Desjy and Make My Heart Fly
This race was always the plan for Felix Desjy after he won his maiden hurdle at Galway last month. In his bumpers he had a habit of racing too keenly but I thought that he settled well at Galway which was encouraging. This race represents a significant step up in class but I'd expect that he will be able to hold his own at this level and he should have improved a nice bit from Galway. He's a talented horse who should be one of our better novice hurdlers this season so I'm hoping that he is lining up with a winning chance.
Make My Heart Fly has been a revelation over the last few months and she's been placed in a couple of black type races lately including when she was third in a decent mares Grade 3 at Down Royal last week. This looks a tougher race than those she has contested lately and she's going to have to step forward but the track, trip and ground will suit her well and she could run better than her odds suggest.
The Big Apple
13:35 Apple's Jade and Dortmund Park
Apple's Jade has been an amazing mare for us over the last couple of years and hopefully we can look forward to another big season with her. I don't think we saw the best of her towards the end of last season when she kept coming into season but I'm hoping we have that issue sorted out.
She's in good form and seems as well as ever and this race is the obvious place to start her out. She usually isn't at her best on her first run back each season but she did win this race last year. Sunday's race is probably a stronger one and I know that she will improve a lot for the run as she hasn't been away from home but I'd still be expecting a good showing from her.
It will be interesting to see how Dortmund Park gets on. He's a young horse and we've decided to keep him over hurdles for another season and I'm hoping he will be competitive in good company. He ended last season by winning a Grade 1 at Punchestown and I wasn't surprised that he was able to win at that level. He always looked like a horse that would improve for a summer off and came back to us looking stronger and more mature. This is a pretty tough starting point for his season and he might prefer if the ground was easier but hopefully he will run with credit and the stiff track will suit him well.
Came a long way
14:10 Doctor Phoenix
He came a long way last season and graduated from handicaps to develop into a quality graded class chaser. I would say that he has probably taken a little longer to come to hand this autumn than some of the others but I've been happy with how he has been doing over the last few weeks and this was the obvious race to start him back in.
The pick of last season's form would put him in with a great chance but I'd rather came here with the benefit of a previous run and I'd say that we will have our work cut out to beat Ballyoisin who has race fitness on his side.
14:40 Duca De Thaix and Campeador
I would say that I'm a little disappointed with Duca De Thaix so far this season although he has run with credit on both his starts. In fairness to him he did improve from his comeback at Punchestown when he was placed in a useful race at Wexford a couple of weeks ago but he is going to have to improve again.
As a hurdler, he was a classy sort at his best and I still think he can get to that level as a chaser but he just needs to take a step forward. He is in good shape and the ground and trip should be fine so he should at least challenge for a place in the frame.
Campeador is a talented sort but just hasn't enjoyed the best of luck and last flight falls have cost him in two big races over the last couple of years. He just didn't seem to be himself on his last couple of starts last season so we finished him off quite early and he came back to us in very good form. This will be his first try over fences and he will certainly need this run so I'd expect him to progress well from this outing.
Good run to put him in
15:15 Ange D'Or Javilex
He's been a hard horse to keep right but we've had a clear run with him over the last couple of months and it will be good to get him started for the season. Hopefully the ground will ease a bit for him over the course of the weekend and as he doesn't want it too quick. Earlier in his career he showed some useful form but he's been off for almost two years, so he will come on a good deal from this run and I'd say he's best watched on this occasion.
Will be stronger
15:45 - Column Of Fire
It's the usual story here in that he is a nice horse who we hope will do well for us this winter but he hasn't been away and he hasn't been on grass so fitness could catch him out. For a raw sort I thought that he ran very well when he was second in the Land Rover Bumper on his only start last season.
He has done very well over the summer and strengthened up quite a bit so I'm looking forward to him and he won't have any trouble winning a bumper but fitness could catch him out here.
Best chance: 13:05 - Felix Desjy