Gordon on the ‘drive for five’ as almost forty stand their ground for Ladbrokes Troytown.
A total of 37 horses remain in the reckoning for the Ladbrokes Troytown Handicap Chase at Navan on Sunday. Clear early favourite Pairofbrowneyes is among them as are leading ante-post fancies Minella Beau, Out Sam and Spider Web.
The Tom Mullins-trained Spider Web and James Motherway’s Na Trachtalai Abu served up a thriller when first and second respectively in the JT McNamara Ladbrokes Munster National at Limerick last month and they could well clash again. Last Goodbye, the clear-cut winner of the Chanelle Pharma Handicap Chase at the inaugural Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown in February, is another intriguing contender for trainer Liz Doyle.
Willie Mullins has left three in the €100,000 event. In addition to Pairofbrowneyes and Minella Beau, the champion trainer could also call on the services of Undressed, which would be having his first start for the champion trainer.
Gordon Elliott is bidding to win the race for a remarkable fifth consecutive time and he has 14 going forward. The Cork Grand National winner Out Sam and runner-up Rogue Angel look to head his team that also includes Irish Grand National winner General Principle, Woods Well, Squouateur and current top-weight Dounikos.
Noel Meade won this race 21 years ago with Heist and could yet be represented by Tout Est Permis, a winner at Galway at the end of last month, and the Naas runner-up Burgas. Eight Till Late is a more recent winner at Down Royal and could carry the hopes of trainer Francis Casey.
There is a strong supporting card at Navan on Sunday where the Grade 3 Monksfield Novice Hurdle has attracted an entry of 15 with the Joseph O’Brien-trained Rhinestone and Gordon Elliott’s Dinons, an easy winner at Cheltenham last month leading the way.
The Listed Coolmore N.H. Sires Irish EBF Mares Flat Race has an initial entry of 17 horses headed by the Philip Dempsey-trained Caravation, Yukon Lil for Willie Mullins and the Jessica Harrington-trained Emily Moon while the Grade B Proudstown Handicap Hurdle of €50,000 boasts an entry of 26, headed by Noel Meade impressive Naas winner, De Name Escapes Me.
Peter Killeen, Manager of Navan Racecourse, said: “The team at Navan Racecourse is really looking forward to what is our flagship meeting and it’s great to see that the top trainers are once again coming out in force for the feature Ladbrokes Troytown Chase. Gordon certainly seems to have an appetite for landing the race for an unbelievable fifth time with 14 horses still in. The rest of the card is really strong and with the forecast at this stage for a fine day on Sunday we are expecting a great crowd to come and witness one of the top days in the National Hunt racing calendar. It is terrific that Ladbrokes continue to support Navan for the feature and I would like to take the opportunity to thank them for their sponsorship of such a prestigious and historic race.”