Top card on a Sunday – has to be Ireland, so step forward Navan. The midlands track is a severe test of stamina, with consistently heavy ground and the kind of uphill finish that could justify setting up a bivouac at the 2f pole before attempting the final climb.
The staying novice chase, the “Ten Up”, (1600), is ostensibly an RSA trial for Cheltenham, but the emphasis on stamina has drawn a cast that will probably shed more light on the festival 4 miler.
Mossback, Jury Duty and Moulin A Vent fought out an exciting finish at Naas last time, It is hard to interpret how Mossback may have fared had he cleared the last. His fall gives him a slight weight advantage and if he can jump more cleanly then he could come out on top. Certainly the booking of the magical Davy Russell can only help in that regard.
Moulin A Vent stayed on well to claim Jury Duty after Mossback’s exit and that proven stamina will be a huge asset here under these conditions. He should finish close up.
All three Naas runners may have to fight for second fiddle though as Monbeg Notorious looks like he could just be a cut above. He started to hint at better to come when winning at Punchestown before bolting up in the usually competitive Thyestes Chase off a mark of 137.
He has been raised to 150, which has him 4lbs or more well in with the rest here, but even that may not capture his progress. The testing conditions looks sure to suit and Jack Kennedy renews the partnership. He should win here on the way to a Festival bid.
Recommendation: Monbeg Notorious, (1600 Navan), 2pts win, 6/4 generally available
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