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Sunday’s racing tips - 5/2 NAP will get corks popping at Navan

Jonathan Vine 16 Feb 2019
Champagne Classic (near) beating Penhill (right) in the The Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle at Punchestown in 2017.

Our expert takes a look through all of Sunday’s races and picks out a prime contender in the Grade Two feature at Navan as his NAP of the day with Ladbrokes.

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3:25pm Navan Ladbrokes Acca Boosty Ten Up Novice Chase (Grade 2) 3m



After an encouraging, yet winless first season over fences, I’d have thought Ted Walsh would have found a winning opportunity for Any Second Now as a second-season novice. Alas, that hasn’t transpired and the seven-year-old looks much better suited to handicap company than a Graded race like this.

Four of the six entered here clashed in the Grade Three Novice Chase at Naas last month, where Blow By Blow and Moonshine Bay were both pulled up as Ballyward powered to victory. Chris’s Dream was my NAP that day and ran a solid race to finish second, a length ahead of CHAMPAGNE CLASSIC. Gordon Elliott’s charge jumped soundly after a 650-day break that day and he’s fancied to turn the tables on Chris’s Dream and claim Grade Two glory on Sunday.

Michael O’Leary described Champagne Classic as one of his worst horses in training after Elliott’s charge scored a surprise victory in the Martin Pipe at Cheltenham in 2017. The eight-year-old then forced those words further down O’Leary’s throat at Punchestown, where he saw off Penhill – fresh off his Albert Bartlett success – to win the Grade One Irish Daily Mirror over three miles.

Injury forced Champagne Classic on the sidelines until last month’s reappearance, where I expected Jack Kennedy’s mount to be a little rusty. The 8/1 shot, however, jumped beautifully on his first start over fences, only lacking for finishing pace as Ballyward claimed a lengthy win. 

Chris’s Dream has won around this track and will likely register another solid performance, but Champagne Classic will come on from that reappearance – should the dreaded bounce factor not come into play – and is the obvious class angle in the race. 5/2 looks excellent value.


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Sunday’s racing tips - 5/2 NAP will get corks popping at Navan

Our expert takes a look through all of Sunday’s races and picks out a prime contender in the Grade Two feature at Navan as his NAP of the day with Ladbrokes on Sunday 17th February.

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