Rachael Blackmore: Slade Steel has a big chance in Grade 2 among my six at Navan

Betfair Ambassador Rachael Blackmore
Rachael Blackmore has six chances at Navan on Saturday

Rachael Blackmore has a busy day at Navan on Saturday with six chances on the afternoon, including one on Slade Steel in the Grade 2 contest which she says will enjoy the step up in trip...

  • Catena Zapata is in great order at home

  • Step up in trip to help Slade Steel in Grade 2 contest

  • Can't wait for Eklat De Rire after his long absence

  • Find out about the new Betfair Beacons on the Exchange


  • 12:00 - Jasko Des Dames

    I ride Jasko Des Dames in the opening race at Navan on Saturday, the four-year-old maiden hurdle. He's a really nice horse, he won over a mile and a half in France on soft ground, his schooling has been very good and we're happy with him.

    He's a well-related horse, a full-brother to Impose Toi, who has won five of his seven races so far, the latest a novices' handicap hurdle at Cheltenham in November, and he is a half-brother to Floueur, a 140-rated performer. This will be his first run over hurdles, but he seems very straightforward and we're hoping he can run a good race.

    12:32 - Catena Zapata

    Catena Zapata has run well in two maiden hurdles, finishing second in both. It was soft in Limerick when he last ran over hurdles in October last year, and he ran very well.

    He has run well twice on the flat this autumn too, he finished third in a good one-mile handicap on the flat at Leopardstown last time off a mark of 84.

    This looks like another good maiden hurdle, but we know that he goes into the race in good form. He's in great order at home and we're hoping that he can put up another solid performance.

    13:07 - Slade Steel

    I am looking forward to riding Slade Steel in the Grade 2 Navan Novice Hurdle, a race that we were lucky enough to win last year with Inthepocket, when the race was run at Naas.

    He came out of his Naas run really well. He was very good that day and we have been really happy with him since. He kept on well at Naas to win nicely from King Of Kingsfield, who franked the form of that race when he finished second in the Royal Bond Hurdle at Fairyhouse at the weekend.

    It looks like a really good race. Better Days Ahead, Stellar Story and Lecky Watson were all good bumper horses last season, and they were all impressive in winning their maiden hurdles this season.

    But we're hoping that Slade Steel can take another step forward now. He is stepping up in trip, but I think that can only help him. He's a really nice horse to have in the yard.

    13:42 - Summerville Boy

    Summerville Boy is back up in trip here, back up to three miles and a furlong, which will suit. I could never really get him into the race the last day at Naas over two and a half miles, it was all happening just a little too quickly for him.

    He's in great order at home for a horse of his age. It is almost six years since he won the Supreme Novices' Hurdle! But he showed at Thurles last March when he beat Asterion Forlonge and Lifetime Ambition that he retains lots of ability. He shows a lot of enthusiasm on the gallops at home too, so hopefully he can run a big race here.

    14:17 - Eklat De Rire

    Eklat De Rire runs in the Listed Foxrock Handicap Chase, and I can't wait to ride this lad again. He's a really talented horse. He won a Grade 3 race as a novice, and he beat Conflated in a listed chase at Wexford on his first run in his second season over fences. He has had his few issues, but he seems to be in really good form at the moment.

    He hasn't run since this time last year, when he finished fourth in a hurdle race at Clonmel, but he has been working really well at home and he has been schooling well. He is a horse who has a lot of ability and I'm very much looking forward to getting things back on track with him.

    14:52 - Hiddenvalley Lake

    I'm looking forward too to riding Hiddenvalley Lake in the beginners' chase. He is a very nice horse, he was progressive last season over hurdles, he won his maiden, before winning a Grade 3 race at Cork, and then he finished a close second to Monty's Star in another Grade 3 race at Clonmel over three miles.

    This will be his first run over fences, but he did run in a point-to-point, when he was carried out at the last. His schooling had been good at home, and we're excited to see how he gets on now on his first run over fences.


    Read Paul Nicholls views on his 12 Saturday runners here.


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