The Troytown Handicap Chase, which is run over three miles at Navan, is one of jump racing’s early-season highlights and carries €100,000 in prize-money. It is due off at 2:30pm on Sunday 25th November.
Troytown was one of the great race-horses of the early 20th Century, his wins including the 1920 Aintree Grand National.
Some stats and figures:
The age of the winner doesn’t seem to matter as the last ten winners have been aged between five and ten. It’s the same story with the weights as the weight carried by the winner has ranged from 9st12lb and 11st9lb
Gordon Elliott has won the Troytown for the last four years, with four different jockeys – Davy Russell, Bryan Cooper, Jack Kennedy and Kevin Sexton.
Only one of the last ten winners was returned at bigger than 12/1 and six have been priced at 9/1 or shorter, although only one favourite has won in the last decade (Balbriggan, 4/1, 2014).
ARKWRISHT, Joseph O’Brien – He finished 15th in this race last year when rated 138 (now 137, the rating from which he finished sixth in this year’s Irish Grand National)
DOUNIKOS, Gordon Elliott – I developed a liking for this horse last year and felt sure he would run well in the four-miler at the Cheltenham Festival. He sidestepped that in favour of the RSA Chase and his form has fallen away since a modest run there. If all is well with him, I think he’ll develop into a National horse. Will he be able to win today on the back of three pulled-up runs and an absence of 215 days? That’s the question. Personally, I’ll be watching him with an eye to the future.
EIGHT TILL LATE, Francis Casey – Very consistent, he won at Down Royal on Nov 2nd from a rating of 127. He finished third in Thursday’s Listed Chase at Thurles. Will need a career-best effort in order to win but will, surprisingly, be trying three miles for the first time
GENERAL PRINCIPLE, Gordon Elliott – He won the Irish Grand National from a rating of 139 in April and is now rated 144, although he hasn’t run since that Fairyhouse success.
GRAND PARTNER, Tom Mullins – Won over hurdles from a rating of 130 in March (rated 123 over fences but has only twice run over today’s trip), which came over two miles
KYLECRUE, John Patrick Ryan – He’s 11 now and would have a bit to prove here based on recent efforts
MAGIC OF LIGHT, Jessica Harrington – She won a mares’ handicap chase over 2m5f at Punchestown in April. She is on the up but will need a career-best effort in terms of winning. She has won or been second or third in nine of her last 12 races, seven of them mares’ races.
MINE NOW, Peter Fahey – He has won from a higher rating than today over hurdles (Dec 2017, rated 135). Now rated 128, you can build a case for a good run
MINELLA BEAU, Willie Mullins – His mark seems fair enough to me; this will be his second run in a handicap chase. The first was in the Cork National (won by Out Sam) when he was still in contention when falling three out.
MR DIABLO, JP Dempsey – He won a 2m5.5f handicap chase at Leopardstown in March 2017 from today’s rating but his four subsequent runs have been modest
NA TRACHTALAI ABU, James Motherway – Now rated 129, he has finished second or third in each of his last five races and was beaten three-parts of a length by SPIDER WEB last time in the Munster National and is now five pound better off at the weights. He can go well
Team work makes the dream work! #AppreciationPost for our hard working team out on the track 👏🏼 Great pictures from when they started packing the fences, then cutting, greening and putting on new knee board pads. The finished article looks 👌🏼 #TeamNavan #TroytownChase pic.twitter.com/V8hoMFYjyG
— Navan Racecourse (@NavanRacecourse) November 23, 2018
NED STARK, Gordon Elliott – He hasn’t run for 421 days and has had only one run since April 2016 although he would be well-handicapped based on 2015 form – He is now a NON-RUNNER
NEDDY VAUGHAN (RESERVE), Padraig Roche – He’s won two of his last three races and ran well when second at Punchestown last time from today’s rating. He’s young and improving but, overall, a career-best performance will be needed in order to score
OUR FATHER, Gordon Elliott – He was rated 154 at his peak when with David Pipe, but that was in 2012 and he has run only once since 2015. Much as he’s now rated 129, it would be some training performance if he were to win today
OUT SAM, Gordon Elliott – He won the Cork National when rated 132 on November 4th. That represented a return to form although an eight-pound rise for that won’t make life easy
POORMANS HILL, Gordon Elliott – He finished fourth in this race last year when rated 121 and is now rated 129 so he will need to pull out a career-best run if he is to win
PRESENTING JULIO (RESERVE) Gordon Elliott – Not entirely out of it on the pick of his runs but, overall, others have more-convincing profiles – He is now a NON-RUNNER
RAZ DE MAREE, Gavin Cromwell – Last season’s Welsh National will have that race again in mind and he does need the going to be hock deep to be seen to best effect
SPACE CADET, Gordon Elliott – He finished second in the Leinster National in March when rated 131 (now 135). He has shown that he can go well off a break so a good run wouldn’t entirely be a surprise
SPIDER WEB, Tom Mullins – He won the Munster National on October 14th when rated 127 and is now rated 135. Clearly, he’s on the up, although more, of course, will be needed.
SWINGBRIDGE, Gordon Elliott – He won from a rating of 125 at Perth in September and races off 124 here, so you can build a case for him running well
ROGUE ANGEL, Gordon Elliott – he won the 2016 Irish Grand National when rated 137 and comes here rated 138 after chasing home Out Sam in the Cork National. He is now four pounds better off for 1.75 lengths from that run.
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) November 23, 2018
SQUOUATEUR, Gordon Elliott – This horse has been well-supported on so many occasions but has now not won since Feb 2016 and has never won a chase.
TIMIYAN, Gordon Elliott – He’d need to get back to his form of the summer of 2017 to have a chance.
TOUT EST PERMIS, Noel Meade – On his first run for Noel, he won snugly at Galway on Oct 28. Just a five-year-old, he’s open to plenty of improvement although he has yet to run over three miles.
UNDRESSED (RESERVE), Willie Mullins – He’s a ten-year-old that will be having his first run for Willie Mullins and his first run since April 28th. He’s reasonably rated based on his best runs – He is now a NON-RUNNER
WOODS WELL, Gordon Elliott – He returned from a break to win a chase at Galway and arrives here rated 138. It’s difficult to know how well he may fare from that rating but his price seems about right to me.
My selection is MINELLA BEAU (8/1) as his profile looks solid for the race and he ticks all the boxes in terms of stats. TOUT EST PERMIS (10/1) is unexposed and a good run would be no surprise and NA TRACHTALAI ABU (20/1) can run well at a bigger price.
Maybe Gordon Elliott’s grip on the Troytown is about to be loosened.