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Johnny Ward's Irish Angle: A Plus Tard can topple Arkle winner

By Johnny Ward
Sat 9 Nov 2019

If you have not yet quite gotten excited about the National Hunt fare upcoming, this weekend will surely do the trick.

The meet at Naas on Saturday is a perfect appetiser for an absolute cracker at Navan on Sunday, when a scatter of top-class or potentially top-class jumpers make their return to the fray.

It is not necessarily a top-class punting card in every race, but who needs to bet when the action is so good? Having said that, here are a handful of selections to consider closely over the weekend.

Sunday

12.35 Navan: Latest Exhibition

Likely Abacadabras will take the beating here and he can certainly jump cleaner than he did at Gowran; he is an exciting horse. The penalised pair of Fast Buck and Pakens Rock might be a shade vulnerable.

But at the prices, take a chance on Latest Exhibition. He is a really nice prospect and it was not a bad race he won on his seasonal return.

2.10 Navan: A Plus Tard

Henry De Bromhead would win with almost anything at the moment and a big performance looks assured from A Plus Tard, who really thrived last season and gets a great deal of weight here off the main dangers, notably Duc Des Genievres, who was a top novice last season but benefited at Cheltenham from picking off rivals in an underwhelming year of novices. This should be a race to savour.

2.45 Navan: Encore Lui

This is one of quite a few races this weekend where punters have to guess which McManus runner will be most fancied from a scatter of steeds wearing the green and gold in the same race.

This five-year-old ran a hugely promising race on his handicap debut, has no weight, a rider who excels at Navan and hails from a trainer in decent form.

Saturday

1.05 Naas: Cilaos Emery

That this horse has seen so little action since his senior hurdling days might concern some, but then he is trained by Willie Mullins. The weights structure at the race essentially means he should win if he is well-tuned for this return to action. He is inexperienced, but jumps well.

1.40 Naas: Rock De Baune

Just the five McManus runners here but I reckon this is definitely the one. He has been in great nick on the Flat and the genius who looks after him, John Kiely, should have him in perfect nick to win this nice pot off a feather weight.

2.15 Naas: Fairly Legal

Four McManus runners in this, two of them given marks that in no way relate to what they have achieved over fences, having been much better hurdling. Fairly Legal won his maiden hurdle here and I suspect he is the one to be on, though it is his first run back.

Johnny's selections:

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