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The Mandarin’s Sunday Selections for 11th February 2024

The Mandarin’s Sunday Selections from Navan & Exeter


Apple’s Jade Mares Novice Hurdle (Listed) 2.15
Gordon Elliott fields two for this Listed contest, but Brighterdaysahead would be expected to win this before her big date at Cheltenham. She has two entries on the first day of The Festival, but is more likely to take up the Mares’ Hurdle rather than the Supreme Novices’. Against here own sex here, she is sure to go off a warm order favourite, but has to prove herself at this trip on this heavy ground. Mark Fahey’s Annalecka rates the main danger with form in points at this trip, so Brighterdaysahead needs to be winning this in the run-up to Cheltenham

William Hill Boyne Hurdle (Grade 2) 2.45
Blazing Khal
Charles Byrne’s has had a job on his hands to get his classy hurdler ready for this season’s campaign. If all’s gone well, Blazing Khal is going to need a decent run in this Grade 2 before a return to the Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival next month. With form on heavy ground, there’s every hope that this seasonal reappearance can bring a winning start, but it has to be taken on trust that he’s fully tuned up. Blazing Khal to return to winning ways

William Hill Novice Chase (Grade 2) 3.45
Minella Cocooner (nb)
A fascinating showdown between the Closutton stablemates, Nick Rockett and Minella Cocooner. The former has edged favouritism in the ante-post markets, and Paul Townend getting the leg up suggests he’s the stable first string, but Minella Cocooner and Danny Mullins might just spring the surprise on the jolly. It’s going to be pretty hard work around here on this deep ground, but course and distance winner Minella Cocooner will see out this trip so gets the nudge


Trustatrader Fully Vetted Tradespeople Novices’ Hurdle (Listed) 3.05
Fun Fun Fun (nap)
Irish raider Fun Fun Fun can go home with the pot for Willie Mullins in this Listed contest. The mare gets a handy 7lbs from all the boys here, and that could be telling on this deep ground. There’s sure to be plenty of support for home hope Favour And Fortune, who is another with no concerns over this going, typical for runners from Alan King’s Barbury Castle yard, and this could be a ding-dong battle between the pair before they clash in the Supreme Novices’ at the Cheltenham Festival. With Paul Nicholls’s Insurrection also lining up, along with Neil King’s ultra-consistent Lookaway, a terrific race is in store

Trustatrader You Can Trust Our Traders Mares’ Chase (Listed) 4.05
Galia Des Liteaux
Dan Skelton’s progressive chaser looks prime for this race after a fine effort in the Classic Handicap Chase at Warwick. That runners-up spot over the marathon 29 furlong trip showed she’s got plenty of reserves with just one rival shouldering more weight. Heavy ground will make this a real test of stamina, so Galia Des Liteaux is easy to back against her own sex

The Mandarin

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