Timeform Irish SmartPlays: City Slicker to come out on top at Navan

Navan hosts a cracking national hunt card this afternoon

They say good things come to those who wait and that is definitely the case with this afternoon's rescheduled card at Navan. Timeform's Irish team highlight three win selections on a cracking card...

"The drop to two miles will suit and City Slicker looks sure to improve."

The opening maiden hurdle on the card is definitely more about quantity than quantity, but there are a couple of very promising types involved, none more so than Willie Mullins' City Slicker.  The J.P Mcmanus-owned gelding cost a cool €135,000 as a three-year-old and, after showing clear signs of ability on his bumper debut, he ran out an impressive winner of a two-mile Fairyhouse event in December. He was sent off favourite for a hot-looking maiden hurdle at Leopardstown on the back of that effort and shaped much better than the bare result in finishing fourth to Mala Beach, leading after the fifth and still on the bridle entering the straight before weakening when headed approaching the last. The drop to two miles will suit and City Slicker looks sure to improve. 

Thousand Stars is a horse that should need little introduction to fans of Irish racing, a high-class and versatile hurdler with Grade 1 victories from two mile to 25f. However, as has often been the case, Thousand Stars has been overshadowed by his brilliant stablemate Hurricane Fly on his last two starts, finishing behind him for the ninth time when chasing him home in the Irish Champion Hurdle last time. The aftermath of that contest was dominated by talk of Hurricane Fly and Binocular, both being discussed for very different reasons, but one thing that was overlooked was that Thousand Stars looked back to his very best that day and he will prove very hard to beat if reproducing that effort this afternoon.

Mullaghanoe River won a maiden point before plying his trade under Rules and he showed a good attitude to get off the mark at the second attempt in bumpers, beating subsequent winner Wedding Present at Leopardstown in December. Noel Meade's charge then lined up in the same maiden hurdle as City Slicker at Leopardstown last month and shaped with plenty of promise in fifth, holding every chance when not fluent two-out and not knocked about afterwards. He should have learned plenty from that initial experience over timber and looks sure to make a bold bid to get off the mark in this sphere.

Recommended Bets:

Back City Slicker in the 13:05
Back Thousand Stars in the 14:05
Back Mullaghanoe River in the 14:35

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