Andy Holding has five selections for Sunday's racing, including a NAP at Navan.
- Andy Holding has five selections for today's racing at Navan, Exeter & Uttoxeter
- Andy is currently 191.22pts in profit for 2020.
FAKIERA (best price 4-1) may be the least fancied of the Gordon Elliot-trained pair, but there’s strong case to be made he easily has the best form and considering how they have been priced up in the morning lists, he makes the most sense as the value option.
A little frustrating last season, finishing runner-up three times on the spin, the son of Cokoriko didn’t have to wait too long to snap that unwanted sequence when he got the better of the useful Gabynako at Fairyhouse on his return to action after a 227-day break. Staying on strongly in the closing stages, he proved that stamina is his number one asset, and with the runner-up franking the form yesterday and the time figure good, he should be capable of making his presence felt despite stepping up sharply in grade.
ELITE TROOPER GREY (NAP) (best price 11-4) wouldn’t have won here last time out, but there’s little doubt he would have finished a good deal closer to the eventual winner had he not made an untimely mistake three out and he’s fancied to press home that C&D advantage in this similar race on his return visit.
A winner previously at Cork when the return to blinkers were seen to good effect, Gordon Eliot’s gelding was going as well as any turning for until he got himself into a right mess in the closing stages, but as the time figure compared to the Grade 3 on the same card suggested, it was a very good race for the grade and his performance deserves upgrading. Clearly a stiff two miles on heavy ground suits best on the evidence of that effort and with nothing in today’s line-up appearing to be ahead of the handicapper, he should go close to maintaining his decent recent run of form.
FROM THE HEART (best price 5-1) has done really well since returning to action following wind surgery in the summer and he’s fancied to keep his positive set of results going in the right direction.
An all-the-way winner on his second outing of the campaign, Philip Hobbs’ gelding added to that victory with an even better performance last time out at Taunton and with the speed figure leaning heavily towards in being a very strong one for the grade (final circuit time four seconds faster than the 2m chase won by Court Royale), even a small hike in the ratings might not be enough to prevent him from completing the hat trick.
The handicap hurdle won by Honest Vic at Cheltenham’s showcase meeting back in October was noted for its strong time figure so it makes sense to stay loyal to the form and play both KANSAS CITY CHIEF (best price 14-1) and NEVILLES CROSS (best price 8-1) who finished third and sixth respectively.
The former had figured prominently in the Pertmeps Final at the same track in March so his excellent effort wasn’t a flash in the pan and he’d also run a good deal better than his finishing position suggested over today’s course after a long break when just getting tired in the latter stages. A three-mile soft ground winner last season and back in the hands of professional guidance, a better run than his morning odds is anticipated.
The latter was arguably a little disappointing at Cheltenham but one or two mistakes here and there all counted against him in the final analysis and he’s probably a good deal better than what he showed 29 days ago. A C&D winner with a upwardly-mobile profile, a return to this flatter track might see him in a much better light.