4.20pm Navan Tips & Betting Preview 19/03/2017

A field of nine go to post for the Novice Handicap Chase Final at Navan on Sunday, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: Oscar Knight and Retour En France are both likely to be popular as they represent powerful connections but this can go to Eoghan O’Grady’s MICK THE JIVER. He glided through the mud on his latest start to win by a growing eleven lengths, with the third a further nineteen lengths back. He has been raised 9lb as a result but he remains with scope for progress and is taken to shrug off that rise to take victory in these softer conditions. He receives lumps off weight from his main rivals too which will help if its a tight finish and he looks the best pick in a tricky looking race.

1 JETSTREAM JACK – A horse who has clear ability, proven by his first two chasing starts, finishing second in a Grade 2 at Pucnhestown in November (2m 6f, Soft), ahead of Disko. He hasn’t however been showing that on recent starts, falling when well beaten in the Thyestes at Gowran in January (3m 1f, Soft) and he ran very flat in the Grade 2 Ten Up Novice Chase here over C&D, well beaten by the main body of the field. Off the same mark today but needs to find something from somewhere, with it being hard to recommend him at present. Needs to bounce back and others are far more solid, but he’s impossible to rule out for the inform Gordon Elliott yard.

2 OSCAR KNIGHT – Has been running well of late, winning at Navan in a Grade B handicap in December (2m 4f, Yielding to Soft) and was far from disgraced when third in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown in December (3m, Yielding) after being headed at the last. Raised another 6lb though which makes this tough and he’s conceding weight to all his rivals bar Jetstream Jack, with many of those progressive. Likely to go close though if improving and has to be respected, as he handles the conditions and has Luke Dempsey taking the ride.

KILCARRY BRIDGE – Ground versatile ten year old who won his second race over fences at Gowran Park last week, staying on well over a shorter trip (2m 2f, Heavy). Wont be phased by going up in trip as he’s won at this distance in the past but a mark of 126, which is 6lb higher than his latest run, is a concern at this stage of his career. Others clearly have more room for improvement and he’s never been the most consistent. Arrives in form though and wouldn’t be ruled out for the placings if in the same form again.

4 RETOUR EN FRANCE – Three runs in Ireland since joining Willie Mullins from France and was perhaps fortunate to win her latest start at Fairyhouse as she hadn’t sealed the deal when her nearest rival fell at the last (2m 5f, Soft to Heavy). She does however remain with potential on handicap debut off a mark of 125, with room for improvement up in trip. She seems likely to stay and surely has much more to give in this sphere, so is likely to play a leading role for powerful connections. Respected with Ruby Walsh taking the ride.

5 MICK THE JIVER – Continued his brilliant form this season when running out a comprehensive winner at Naas on his latest start, gliding through the mud for a eleven length success, with the margin growing towards the finish (3m, Heavy). The third was a further nineteen lengths back so an 8lb rise may well underestimate this progressive seven year old for Eoghan O’Grady. He has similar conditions to aim at and is a guaranteed stayer at this trip. He receives lumps of weight from his nearest market rivals so can capitalise and looks the pick in the race with David Splaine taking the ride.

6 CARRIGEEN ACEBO – Smart pointer but is yet to show much under rules for the Lalor yard, with her latest win at Thurles in February incredibly lucky as most of the main protagonists fell, with her swooping past the eventual second who was very tired (3m, Heavy). A mark of 116 looks very tough for her in this and she faces some even better opposition this time around. Others readily preferred and she wont be getting involved unless they go a relentless gallop.

7 PRESENTING MAHLER – Has been struggling in recent times and was well beaten on her latest start at Leopardstown two weeks ago (2m 5f, Soft to Heavy), never able to land a blow. Likely to be happier back up in trip but she remains opposable off a mark of 115 in a competitive race with many of her rivals bang in form. John Patrick Ryan had a winner recently but others make far more appeal and the best she can hope for in this is places, if her stamina holds out at a trip she is yet to complete over.

8 SKELLIG ROCKS – Has been slowly progressing over fences the last thrice, posting his best effort yet when third at Leopardstown two weeks ago (2m 5f, Soft to Heavy). This however is much more competitive and he has his stamina to prove for this far, well beaten on his only attempt at the three mile trip in the past. Possible place claims if his stamina does hold out as the Moore yard are in good form at present and Lisa O’Neill takes off a useful five pounds, so is consider in that sense.

9 CAROLE ROSE – Isn’t improving over fences and was a well beaten third behind lucky winner Carrigeen Acebo at Thurles in February (3m, Heavy), beaten around twenty-six lengths. Off a feather weight in this but hard to recommend even for the places, as others bring much better form into the race and she is yet to convince she stays this far over fences. Look elsewhere.

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