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The Mandarin’s Saturday Selections for 18th November 2023

The Mandarin’s Saturday Selections from Navan & Cheltenham


Bar One Racing For Auction Novice Hurdle (Grade 3) 1.30
Dee Capo
In the first of the Black Type races, it’s hard to ignore the appeal of Gordon Elliott’s Dee Capo who made no mistake on his hurdling bow at Cork. Despite a couple of signs of inexperience, Jack Kennedy got him home in cosy fashion by 6 lengths in the end, and back on similar soft ground he can go in again. The Cullentra inmates are in fine fettle for Gordon Elliott, so Dee Capo is the one to follow

Railway Bar Lismullen Hurdle (Grade 2) 2.05
Home By The Lee
A chance is taken on Joseph O’Brien’s Home By The Lee for the Lismullen Hurdle here at Navan. He won this race last year and does go well fresh, so is taken to serve it up to the smart pair of Zanahiyr and Bob Olinger, with Zanahiyr looking the warm order favourite after a cosy win at Punchestown last month and Gordon Elliott’s string going great guns. However, Home By The Lee is a class act and can defend the title for Joseph O’Brien

Bar One Racing Fortria Chase (Grade 2) 2.40
Dysart Dynamo (nb)
Willie Mullins holds the key to the feature with Dysart Dynamo, who can take on last year’s winner Captain Guinness. He remains unexposed over fences, and is very lightly raced overall with just the ten starts. This soft ground is just what this Westerner gelding needs, and although no match for the smart El Fabiolo in a Grade 1 Novice Chase at the Punchestown Festival when last seen, this is a more realistic target to get this season’s campaign under way. Sure to go on to better things, and the one to side with getting a 9lb pull over his main rival

Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase 3.15
Facile Vega
There’s sure to be plenty of support for Facile Vega in his first try over fences. He was a hot favourite for the Supreme Novices’ at the Cheltenham Festival back in March, only to be outrun by fellow Irish raider Marine Nationale, but Willie Mullins has wasted no time in sending him out chasing. Facile Vega’s dam, the brilliant Quevega, ruled the roost around Cheltenham, so now it’s Facile Vega’s turn to stamp his authority on Prestbury Park


JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2) 12.35
An Bradan Feasa
The chance is taken on Irish import An Bradan Feasa for Saturday’s opener. Taken out of Joseph O’Brien’s yard after bolting up by 8 lengths in a Ballinrobe maiden, he can score some early season Black Type for his up-and-coming young trainer, Jack Jones. This Camelot gelding is preferred to the useful looking Burdett Road with plenty of rain in the forecast, while Milan Tino also catches the eye. These are the three to note, with An Bradan Feasa given the nod

Wienerberger Amateur Jockeys’ Handicap Chase 1.10
Christian Williams might hold the key to this with Strictlyadancer, the winner of this race in 2021. He should be good to go after a spin over this course and distance last month where he was a 1 length fourth in a blanket finish. Irish raider Brampton Belle and the prolific Mole Court, the winner of that race in October make plenty of appeal, but Edward Vaughan’s 7lb claim is a useful allowance so Strictlyadancer gets the tick

From The Horse’s Mouth Podcast Novices’ Chase (Listed) 1.45
Good Risk At All
This Listed contest can go to Sam Thomas’s Good Risk At All, who couldn’t have made a better start to his chasing career when cruising home at Carlisle last month. With a solid seventh of twenty-six in the Coral Cup at the Festival back in March, he knows his way round Prestbury Park, and has Sam Twiston-Davies on board to add to the appeal. Very much the one to beat, and easy to back

Paddy Power Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) 2.20
Stage Star (nap)
Paul Nicholls and Harry Cobden are in scintillating form so far this season, and Stage Star can go in for the feature. He won four of his six starts in his novice chasing campaign, including a Festival win here in the Turner’s Novices’ Chase, and with that Grade 1 in the book he’s good enough to take on The Real Whacker, the Festival’s Brown Advisory winner who inflicted a first defeat on the smart Gerri Colombe. Stage Star goes well fresh, so with course form here and the yard sending out winners for fun, hard to oppose

Paddy Power Games Handicap Hurdle 2.55
Judicial Law
Jonjo O’Neill’s likeable gelding has a very good chance of taking this Class 2 contest, having warmed up for this task nicely when runner-up over course and distance last month. That run around here showed he can act on this track, and with form on ground from heavy through to good, there’ll be no concerns over Friday night’s rain. Irish raider Buddy One was third in the Martin Pipe at The Festival back in March, so is the obvious threat, but Judicial Law is taken to prevail. Big shout

Paddy Power Intermediate Handicap Hurdle 3.30
Resplendent Grey
Runner-up to the exciting Captain Teague in the Persian War Hurdle at Chepstow, Olly Murphy’s Walk In The Park gelding looks the one to follow dropped into handicap company. With two wins from two starts over timber last season, it was only running into a good one in Captain Teague that prevented the hat-trick. Harry Skelton is on board on what looks like a workable mark, so Resplendent Grey to regain the winning thread

Karndean Designflooring Mares’ Open National Hunt Flat Race (Listed) 4.05
Sharp Object
She only found the exciting Aurora Vega too good in a Listed contest at Gowran Park last time out, but John McConnell’s French-bred filly can take the closer here. With no concerns over the ground, her racing experience should count for plenty against another Willie Mullins inmate, Baby Kate. There’s a few interesting types thrown in here as we start the path to the Champion Bumper at The Festival in March, but Sharp Object gets the nudge

The Mandarin

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