Tandem puts it all together
Tandem was the best horse on show at Navan and showed all of his Flat quality in the navanracecourse.ie Maiden Hurdle.
Sent off the 1-2 favourite to atone for a defeat at Galway on his jumping bow, the Dermot Weld-trained five-year-old was always to the fore and hardly broke sweat to score by three and a quarter lengths.
His trainer said: "He did it impressively. He just missed the last and still has plenty to learn. When he puts it all together he's potentially a very high-class hurdle horse.
"We'll look for a winners' of one and go from there. He was unlucky not to win in Galway. He's a big powerful horse, a very strong horse. We still have homework to do on his jumping. It was satisfactory today, but will get better."
Icy Reply had to pull out all the stops to justify 15-8 favouritism in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Hurdle.
Dessie Hughes' grey seemed in trouble as the front-running Urtheoneiwant quickened clear two out, with Mark Enright working hard on the market leader.
But she eventually knuckled down and improved to jump the last in unison with the long-time leader, and stuck her neck out to pass the post three-quarters of a length to the good.
Hughes said: "It's a nice race to find for her. We were going to run in the beginners chase at Kilbeggan last night and she has been schooled over fences.
"She jumped a bit scatty there and maybe didn't know what we were doing. We saw this race and the conditions looked right. She's done well for a four-year-old. She'll go chasing now as she'll get great allowances."
Brand Ambassador (12-1) had been sidelined for two years heading into the Navan Welcomes Owners Today Maiden Hurdle, but he lacked nothing in the way of fitness and registered a six-and-a-half-length success for Gordon Elliott and Barry Geraghty.
Jarob (12-1) came up short over the larger obstacles at the Galway Festival but was a different proposition in the Racing Again Saturday 27th September Handicap Hurdle and after taking up the running before the last, sped away to beat Tico by eight lengths.
Coldstonesober (8-1) quickened into a clear lead between the last two in the Follow Navan On Facebook Handicap Hurdle and the move proved decisive as he held Blue Ridge Lane at bay.