Dedigout Bound For Boyne Success
Navan stages one of its biggest jumps cards on Sunday courtesy of three Grade 2 events – the first of which is the Boyne Hurdle at 2.15pm.
Some star names have won this prize down the years, including War Of Attrition in 2010, whose trainer, Mouse Morris may run Rule The World. A Grade 2 hurdles winner in January 2013, this 8yo has been in decent form over the bigger fences during the winter and would be of interest if taking his place.
Of the last 10 Boyne Hurdle winners…
9 were officially rated 139 or higher
9 ran in a Graded race last time
8 made the top three last time
7 won during their last three runs
W Mullins won it twice
But, there is the small matter of the Willie Mullins team, which has four entered in the race: Briar Hill, Zaidpour, Abbyssial and Back In Focus. Each has a bit to prove in their own way, including Zaidpour, who is undoubtedly a classy Grade 1 winner, but won only one of his last eight races.
Abbyssial meanwhile, has not been seen this season, having won a Grade 1 at Punchestown in May, prior to flopping in France a month later. This 5yo is without doubt a talented performer, but it’s anyone’s guess as to what form he is in, and the market may provide the biggest clue.
Briar Hill has also fire to feature in two outings this season, but was also a Grade 1 winner just over a year ago, while Back In Focus has been absent for 663 days and it’s hard to imagine he will be fully tuned with Cheltenham on the horizon.
One who has current form in the book is Tony Martin’s Dedigout, a Grade 2 winner at Gowran Park last month (3m, heavy). Having been absent for a year owing to a fracture, this 9yo looks back on course and any further rain would suit him in his quest to make it 7-10 over hurdles.
Elsewhere, Tiger Roll won last season’s Triumph Hurdle, but was outclassed in two Grade 1’s behind Hurricane Fly the last twice. This drop back to a Grade 2 will help Gordon Elliott’s runner, and he is another who is capable if putting his best foot forward.
Elliott also has Noble Endeavour entered, who unlike the majority in the race is still on the unexposed side, and showed when beaten only 2l by Zaidpour in November (2m4f, soft), that he has the class. His confidence was also boosted in winning a minor race last time and he may not be far away if making the line-up.
Good recent form is thin on the ground for such a quality event, but Dedigout arrives having won a Grade 2 last month, will handle the drop in trip. He is also a course winner.