Johnny Ward: my Saturday horse racing tips for Navan

By Johnny Ward
Sat 21 Jan 2023

Our Irish racing expert Johnny Ward picked two winners from four selections last weekend and likes two runners at Navan on Saturday. Enjoy all the action live on Racing TV.

The revelation this week that the number of entries for the Cheltenham Festival has fallen by 35 per cent compared to this stage five years ago was pretty astonishing and deeply worrying.

Nicky Henderson said it is no longer the be-all and end-all for owners and trainers. Are you kidding me?

Whatever the merits of the four-day Festival - of which I am not a fan - the British Horseracing Authority needs to be really alarmed by this. I guess it reflects a few things, but primarily that owning horses is becoming less popular in Britain.

I'm a proud Irishman and so on, but the situation where Ireland is considered a certainty to win the Prestbury Cup every March is far from healthy.

There won't be many Cheltenham candidates at Navan, a card which I must say I found tricky. Be lucky.

1.07 Navan: Lucky Max

The Doyles will have been gutted with Monbeg Park's Naas flop, but Lucky Max is no slouch and the way he won at Cork last time suggests he's in the form of his life.

This is clearly tougher but, strangely, not that many are solid here.

3.27 Navan: Three Loud Knocks

It is hard to make a case for nearly anything in this and I didn't expect to be tipping this veteran, but he must have a reasonable chance.

I gave him no chance at Limerick last time considering how far he was out of the weights but he ran much better, touching 7.8 in-running despite his burden.

The key to him is really deep ground and this should be a stamina test. His rider is fine value for his claim. Take that into account and the horse is the guts of 20lb better off than at Limerick and this seems a weaker race.

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