Johnny Ward: My top tips for Navan on Saturday

By Johnny Ward
Fri 3 Dec 2021

Our Irish racing expert Johnny Ward can't wait for an excellent weekend of action and marks your card for Saturday's card at Navan. Enjoy every moment live on Racing TV and Racing TV Extra.

It feels as though racing is never out of the news right now and we've lots of reasons to celebrate our love for the sport over the next two days.

Nicky Henderson wasn't having it, but the Tingle Creek of 2021 lives up to the stature of the race and over at Aintree we've plenty to enjoy too.

Sunday's action in Ireland is off the charts but Saturday's at Navan - with Ginto and Riviere D'etel turning up for Gordon Elliott and the Morans alone - is riveting stuff.

Amazingly and alarmingly, we briefly had good ground at Navan in December but we've had rain since. Be lucky.

12.33 Navan: Ginto

The economics of National Hunt racing are such that it is hard to think many horses are worth the €470,000 this lad cost in November. Walk In The Park came to the fore when Douvan came around and, from those subsequently bred, he's going to have a scatter of seriously good horses over the next while.

Ginto looked awesome in his second (course) bumper and he'd have been left short when he won his maiden on ground that wasn't soft enough. He looks an odds-on shot to me here and he should be full of running after the last over this trip.

1.08 Navan: Damalisque

Keep an eye out for some firms paying six places here.

Damalisque will appreciate three miles on this ground and he absolutely hacked up on his last visit to Navan. He made a really pleasing return over two and a half miles at Naas and looks fully primed to go well here.

2.18 Navan: Keskonrisk

My bet of the day.

A very classy hurdler, jumping let him down time and time again and it's fascinating to see him switch to Willie Mullins, whose team of novice chasers this season is sensational. This horse should not be underestimated.

2.53 Navan: Halsafari

He is the best horse nurtured by the late Solerina, who won a staggering 22 races - six of them at Navan. She is a modest broodmare given her talent but lives on in Halsafari.

The eight-year-old is only having his fourth start for the excellent Liam Cusack, having shaped really well over a trip too short at Cork before unseating when well-fancied last time. He's a lovely each-way bet here, Conflated a bit of a lazy sort and making the market.

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