Sunday’s fixture of the day – Race-by-race selections for Fortria Chase day at Navan

A Plus Tard can win the Sunday feature at Navan, the Grade Two Fortria Chase.A Plus Tard can win the Sunday feature at Navan, the Grade Two Fortria Chase.

Brian Healy looks ahead to Sunday’s top horse racing fixture of the day, and he gives his race-by-race selections for Fortria Chase day at Navan.

A cracking racecard goes to post in Ireland on Sunday at Navan where it is Fortria Chase day, where the classy Grade Two prize is joined by the Lismullen Hurdle – also a Grade Two – on an eight race card which kicks off at 12.05pm.

12:05 – navanracecourse.ie Handicap Hurdle (4yo+ 80-116) 2m6f
12:35 – For Auction Novice Hurdle (Grade 3) (4yo+) 2m
1:05 – Lismullen Hurdle (Grade 2) (4yo+) 2m4f
1:35 – P.S. Supplies Doors & Floors Maiden Hurdle (4yo+) 2m4f
2:10 – thetote.com Fortria Chase (Grade 2) (5yo+) 2m
2:45 – Hotel Park St Johann Tirol Austria Handicap Hurdle (4yo+) 2m
3:15 – Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase (4yo+) 2m1f
3:50 – Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race (4-7yo) 2m

The feature race gets underway at 2.10pm, and Brian Healy takes a race-by-race look at Sunday’s feature fixture.

12:05 – navanracecourse.ie Handicap Hurdle (4yo+ 80-116) 2m6f

BAY AMBITION (6/1, William Hill) was a winner between the flags for Robert Tyner, and the Oscar mare subsequently moved to Gavin Cromwell’s yard following his failure to complete the course at Cork on his switch to hurdling back in March.

The move has thus far reaped dividends with a third-place finish at Roscommon in September on his reappearance, and he bettered that performance when striking at Downpatrick latest with a defeat of Multifactorial where he won despite being hampered at the last hurdle.

He now switches to handicaps where a mark of 110 could prove fair, and with the potential to progress further then he could be worth siding with here to follow up.

Gavin Cromwell can get amongst the winners at Navan on Sunday

Gavin Cromwell can get amongst the winners at Navan on Sunday

12:35 – For Auction Novice Hurdle (Grade 3) (4yo+) 2m

Galway bumper winner ABACADABRAS (11/8, Bet365) could prove a tough nut to crack here having ran out a ready winner of his hurdles debut at Gowran Park last month, and Gordon Elliott’s charge can double up here.

The Davidoff gelding was highly tried in bumpers last term in the wake of his success, but he did finish fourth in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham prior to finding only Colreevy too good in the Punchestown equivalent, and that race has since thrown up a couple of winners.

He was an impressive winner latest, coasting to a five lengths’ defeat of Poseidon, and the third horse home in that contest has boosted the form with a subsequent win; and likely to improve for the experience then he should take plenty of beating here.

1:05 – Lismullen Hurdle (Grade 2) (4yo+) 2m4f

APPLE’S JADE (3/10, Paddy Power) can get her season off to a winning start, and Gordon Elliott’s charge is hard to oppose if arriving fully wound up for her reappearance.

The Sadler Maker mare won this race twelve months ago, thumping former Champion Hurdle winner Jezki by eleven lengths, and she added three further successes to her tally before turning in a lesser effort in the Champion Hurdle where she could only finish sixth behind the ill-fated Espoir D’allen.

Far from disgraced subsequently in the Liverpool Hurdle, she was again below her best back at two miles in the Punchestown Champion Hurdle behind Buveur Dair; but back up in trip for her reappearance then she ought to prove a different proposition now.

She has won first time up in each of her last two seasons – both in this race – and she can repeat the feat here to land a hat-trick of wins in the contest.

Apples Jade can win a third Lismullen Hurdle

Apples Jade can win a third Lismullen Hurdle

1:35 – P.S. Supplies Doors & Floors Maiden Hurdle (4yo+) 2m4f

ANDY DUFRESNE (4/5, Bet365) made a very taking introduction when demolishing a decent field on his bumper debut at Down Royal back in January, and the Doyen gelding can repeat the feat now switching to hurdling.

Also a winner between the flags prior to that success, Gordon Elliott’s charge missed the Champion Bumper following a minor setback; but he’s been nurtured back to full health and comes here with a lofty reputation as a top-class hurdling prospect who could prove a very tough nut to crack.

He barely came off the bridle when running out an easy ten lengths’ victor when last seen, and this looks a good opportunity for him to get off the mark over hurdles at the first attempt where he could go on to much better things.

2:10 – thetote.com Fortria Chase (Grade 2) (5yo+) 2m

A PLUS TARD (6/4, William Hill) was hugely progressive last term, winning two of his four starts which included a wide-margin win in the Listed Close Brothers’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, and Henry De Bromhead’s charge can make a winning return to action here.

Also a winner over the reopposing Duc Des Genievres – who later won the Arkle – he finished runner-up in a Grade Three in between those successes, and he rounded off last campaign with a creditable third behind Delta Work when stepped up to three miles to contest the Punchestown Champion Novice Chase.

The Kapgarde possibly failed to see out the longer trip that day, but he looked one with a big engine and plenty of natural speed so should have little issue stepping out here over the minimum trip where he can make a winning return to action in a race where he gets weight all round from his rivals.

Henry De Bromhead can win the Fortria Chase with A Plus Tard

Henry De Bromhead can win the Fortria Chase with A Plus Tard

2:45 – Hotel Park St Johann Tirol Austria Handicap Hurdle (4yo+) 2m

FIGHTFORTHEROSES (7/1,, William Hill) was a flat winner when trained by Aidan O’Brien last year, and the Galileo gelding has proven to be a progressive sort thus far since being switched to hurdling.

Now with Joseph O’Brien, he has made the frame in each of his last three outings, latterly finding only only Rip Rocks Paddy Ok too strong at Cork in July where he sported first-time cheekpieces. That race has since thrown up a couple of subsequent winners so the form could prove decent.

Switching to the handicap ranks now, he could prove to be fairly weighted from an initial 115 opening rating and with the scope for improvement to come based on his useful form on the level then he could take another forward step here to get off the mark now.

3:15 – Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase (4yo+) 2m1f

It will be interesting to see if MELON (2/1, Ladbrokes) can make his mark over fences, and Willie Mullins’ charge is worth chancing to make a winning chase debut.

The Medicean gelding has proven to be high-class over hurdles, finishing runner-up in the last two renewals of the Champion Hurdle and generally accquitting himself well in defeat. He hasn’t won since scoring at Down Royal however back in November 2017, and following his latest Festival runner-up he struggled subsequently and might have been feeling the effects of a fall at Aintree in April.

He has since failed to beat a rival home in outings at Punchestown and Auteuil, the latter where he looked a patent non-stayer over three miles; but back over the minimum trip and switching to the larger obstaces then it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him bounce back, and Willie Mullins has few equals when it comes to his runners switching disciplines so he could thrive for the move to chasing now.

He has won first-time up in two of the last three seasons, and if taking to chasing then he could go close in a very informative event if his smart hurdling ability comes to the fore.

3:50 – Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race (4-7yo) 2m

FAKIR D’ALENE (2/1, Ladbrokes) makes his racecourse debut having won a point-to-point back in May, after which connections paid a six-figure sum for the Cokoriko gelding, and he could be the one to side with here.

Gordon Elliott’s charge was an easy twenty lengths’ winner over Law School in that Broughshane outing over the summer when trained by Donnchadh Doyle, and there could be plenty to come from him having joined a top yard since.

The booking of Jamie Codd for this assignment looks noteworthy and it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see him posting a big run on his Rules debut.

SUNDAY 10 NOVEMBER IRISH RACING TIPS – NAVAN THROUGH-THE-CARD SELECTIONS

12:05 – BAY AMBITION (6/1, William Hill)

12:35 – ABACADABRAS (11/8, Bet365)

1:05 – APPLE’S JADE (3/10, Paddy Power)

1:35 – ANDY DUFRESNE (4/5, Bet365)

2:10 – A PLUS TARD (6/4, William Hill)

2:45 – FIGHTFORTHEROSES (7/1,, William Hill)

3:15 – MELON (2/1, Ladbrokes)

3:50 – FAKIR D’ALENE (2/1, Ladbrokes)