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Joseph O’Brien: Grace To Grace could go close at Navan on Saturday

Joseph O’Brien: Grace To Grace could go close at Navan on Saturday


Good opportunity

13:55 – Alligator Alley

Alligator Alley took a good step forward from his debut when third in a six-furlong maiden at the Curragh last time. Based on how he shaped there, we think dropping back to five furlongs around a bend might just play to his strengths. This looks to be a good opportunity for him on paper and hopefully he’ll be tough to beat.

Learning curve

14:30 – Lady Penelope

Lady Penelope is a newcomer is from a classy sprinting family and her sire Night Of Thunder has made a good start with first runners this season. As with all of mine, she’ll go there needing the run both mentally and physically, so I’ll be happy with a good positive start where she learns plenty and shows promise for the future.

Still trying to hit the right note

15:05 – Little Clarinet

Little Clarinet has been a consistent filly since joining us, but isn’t the easiest to win with. She has won and been a close second in her two previous visits to Navan and the ground will suit her. She went close over sharper five furlongs than this last season, so I think the trip should be fine too. She looks sure to run well, but is the type to will need things to drop right for her to win.

One for the future

Dream Angle has plenty of pace in the top half of her pedigree and she looks to be a sprinting type based on her homework. As always, we won’t be burdening her with big expectations on her debut and will be hoping she can show promise for the future.

Best yet to come

16:50 – Red Sole Diva

Red Sole Diva is a filly that I don’t think has shown the full extent of her ability on the track yet. She ran really well at Gowran Park on her penultimate start, but ran too badly to be true at Cork last time. We didn’t find any physical reason for that underperformance afterwards and she seems in good form at home, so we’ll go again and see how she runs. If she puts it all together, she is definitely capable of winning one of these.

Could go close

16:50 – Grace To Grace

Grace To Grace has shaped well for us a few times and caught the eye at Bellewstown last week. She missed the kick from a bad draw there and looks to be struggling around the tight bends, so she finished off very well in the straight to finish fourth. This much bigger track and longer trip should help her, so hopefully she can deliver on that promise and go close.

Needs to return to form

17:25 – Light Breeze

Light Breeze got off the mark over a mile at this track last month and won in good enough style to suggest she can win again, but her two starts since have been disappointing. This trip should be fine for her and hopefully a return to this track will coincide with a return to form, but the draw has been very unkind to her and that would reduce enthusiasm.


Never rule out the legend

16:30 – Plinth

Plinth is a bit of a legend around here. He’s one of the oldest horses in the yard and just when you think he might have had enough, he pops up and wins again. He did just that when winning a novice chase at Kilbeggan last month and it was great to see him do it in such style. We have since tried him back over hurdles in a Grade 3 at Tipperary, a track he has a great record at, but he ran below form there. Hopefully the return to fences will bring him back to form, but he doesn’t owe anyone anything at this stage.

Could be his chance

17:05 – Eviscerating

Eviscerating has been a bit frustrating on the whole. He has run well a couple of times over fences and is particularly well suited by the conditions of this race. It is a maiden chase confined to horses rated 116 or lower over hurdles and he is rated bang on 116, so we’ve had an eye on this race for him for a while. Ideally he would prefer softer ground and his latest run was a bit disappointing, but we’ll let him take his chance and see how he goes.

Well suited by the conditions

17:05 – Successor

Successor has taken a while to get the hang of chasing, but his latest run in a handicap chase at Punchestown was more encouraging. He is another that is well suited by the conditions of this race and hopefully he will go well on his return from break.

We go in hope

17:40 – Punches Cross

Punches Cross won a couple of handicap chases last season. He has run solid races in his two starts in handicap chases this season, but the suspicion is that the handicapper might just have a hold on him at the minute. We would be approaching this with a lot more hope than confidence.

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