1.05pm Navan Tips & Betting Preview 21/01/2017

Ten runners go to post for the second race of the day at Navan, a very competitive hurdling race. See our betting tips and the full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: This is best left to the returning JEZKI. Top class at his best including wins in the Champion Hurdle in 2014 and multiple other Grade 1s, if returning at near his best he should be hard to beat. His main challenger is likely to be Tombstone, though even he has 20lb to find on ratings.

1 RENNETI – Been mainly racing on the flat of late though has run to a good standard over hurdles including a third in the Ladbroke in December 2015 when last seen over obstacles (1m 7f, Good to Soft). Conditions are fine today and looks one of the main threats if Jezki was to under perform, but he hasn’t raced over hurdles now for 399 days which has to be of some concern. Likely to have place claims for Willie Mullins but needs to return with something more if he’s to win today.

2 TOMBSTONE – Progressive seven year old who is relatively lightly raced and posted a good effort to finish fourth in the supreme novices’ hurdle at the Festival (2m, Good to Soft). Still remains with potential on his seasonal reappearance and likely capable of better for the in form Gordon Elliot yard, with today’s conditions to suit. Has to be considered a main danger if returning at his best and is respected.

3 INDIAN MONSOON – Has been slowly progressive for Charles Byrnes and posted a career best at Cork on his latest start when winning easily (2m, Heavy). Even on that form however he has something  to find for the placings though he looks far more progressive than some of his rivals. Still has scope for improvement as only a five year old and could be a good Each Way angle if improving significantly again.

4 ALISIER D’IRLANDE – Raced mainly over fences where he has been of a useful standard, and returns to hurdling for the first time since March 2015. Conditions are fine today and he’s likely to be of a much better standard over these obstacles if his chasing form is anything to go by and is certainly an interesting contender for Henry De Bromhead. He is hard to way up but does have scope for progress and likely has place claims if the switch to these obstacles does eek out further improvement.

5 CARLINGFORD LOUGH – Very smart chaser at his best and was a brilliant winner of the Irish Gold Cup and Punchestown Gold Cup last season over those obstacles at the three mile trips. Returns to hurdling today at the two mile trip which certainly has to raise some question marks, as it looks much to short for him. First hurdling run for 269 days though if at his best over these obstacles on his return he’s hard to completely dismiss, though this drop back in trip is very questionable and doesn’t look likely to suit. On balance he is best watched despite having conditions to suit and will need a very strong pace and heavier conditions if he’s to feature at this sort of trip.

6 JEZKI – Top class hurdler at his best, including wins in the 2014 Champion Hurdle and a multitude of other grade one victories. He was last seen in April 2015 winning the Punchestown World Hurdle (3m, Yielding) and does have a 632 day absence to overcome. However, if returning at his best he’s likely to be very hard to beat as he looks a cut above this opposition, with the drop back in trip to two miles not of any concern with how versatile he is. Hard to see past him in and has to be respected.

7 SURE REEF – Useful hurdler in his own right with two wins from four runs, but faces a much sterner opposition today. He is a winner of a Grade 2, that coming on his penultimate start at Leopardstown (2m 4f, Soft to Heavy) though dropping back in trip does raise some question marks. Likely to hold place chances if he improves for the step back in trip with conditions to suit, but looks the Willie Mullins second string and needs to find a lot today.

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