Clarcam bidding to step forward
Novice chasers take centre stage at Navan with plenty of talented young jumpers on show in a couple of events on a seven-race card.
The Irish Stallion Farms EBF Novice Chase is the feature race of the afternoon, and Clarcam bids to go one better after coming up against the highly impressive Vautour here last month.
An eight-length defeat by the ante-post favourite for the Arkle Trophy was certainly nothing to be ashamed of on his chasing debut, especially as the remainder of the 16-runner field were well strung out behind.
The Gordon Elliott-trained gelding is painfully remembered by Bryan Cooper as the horse that left him on the sidelines for seven months after he suffered serious leg injuries when they came to grief in Cheltenham's Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle.
However, the French import is also a two-time winner over hurdles and was second to Guitar Pete in Grade One company at Aintree.
Willie Mullins is doubly represented in this two-mile-one-furlong race by Un Beau Roman and Florishwells d'Ete, with Ruby Walsh taking the mount on the former.
The six-year-old was only headed close home by Chancol in the Grade Two Craddockstown Novice Chase at Punchestown last month.
Mullins and Walsh have another leading player in the two-and-a-half-mile Drogheda Beginners Chase with Blood Cotil, who finished second to Gilgamboa over half a mile shorter here last month.
Cooper is again in opposition sporting his retained Gigginstown House Stud colours aboard Wounded Warrior. The Noel Meade-trained gelding has come up against a couple of smart novices already this season in the shape of Shanahan's Turn and Don Poli.
Elsewhere on the card, wide-margin Naas bumper winner The Big Apple reverts to hurdles with obvious claims in the opening Kells Maiden Hurdle and top hunter chaser Tammys Hill is an interesting runner in the Yellow Furze Handicap Hurdle.
Liam Lennon's charge landed the Foxhunter Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last March, and made a winning reappearance over hurdles at Cork this term before finding the opposition too hot in the JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal.
A current hurdles mark of 107 still looks very attractive, although he is sure to be tested by easy Thurles winner Western Promise.