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GRADE 2 BETVICTOR BOYNE HURDLE PREVIEW: Former Festival third Darver Star tops Navan market

A look ahead to Tuesday’s Boyne Hurdle at Navan

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Boyne Hurdle - Ronald Pump

The rescheduled Boyne Hurdle takes place on Tuesday afternoon after Sunday’s weather beat the Navan card, but an intriguing Grade 2 contest remains in shape with former Gloucestershire contenders Darver Star and Ronald Pump set to feature.

Both of the betting principals have made the Cheltenham Festival podium in the past, with Gavin Cromwell’s aforementioned 10-year-old a previous Champion Hurdle third, while Matthe Smith’s gelding is a previous Stayers’ Hurdle second.

Epatante wins the 2020 Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival
Darver Star (left) was no match for Epatante (right) in the 2020 renewal of the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham

Fellow Prestbury Park silver medalist Commander Of Fleet has incredibly strong novice hurdle form, sandwiching subsequent Gold Cup hero Mindella Indo and future Ryanair winner Allaho in the 2019 running of the Albert Bartlett.

WATCH: BOYNE HURDLE HOPEFUL COMMANDER OF FLEET CHASES HOME FUTURE GOLD CUP WINNER MINELLA INDO BACK IN 2019 [CREDIT: RACING TV]

But he has won just twice from nine outings since and looks Gordon Elliot’s second string on this occasion behind Grand Roi.

Horse Racing - Cheltenham Festival - Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham, Britain - March 13, 2019 Keith Donoghue celebrates winning the 4.10 Glenfarclas Chase on Tiger Roll Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs
Gordon Elliot often used the Boyne Hurdle as a preparation run for Tiger Roll, who won the contest in 2019 before securing wins at Cheltenham and Aintree, respectively

Ashdale Bob‘s excursions over fences appeared to only last three efforts but he was a solid third on his return to timber in the Galmoy at Gowran Park last month, while Thyestes victor Longhouse Poet also returns to the smaller obstacles.

Ronan McNally’s Dreal Deal landed the 2021 Moscow Flyer but has been seen just twice since, while owner JP McManus is well represented by Early Doors and Thedevilscoachman.

Horse Racing - Cheltenham Festival - Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham, Britain - March 13, 2019 Racehorse owner JP McManus as he arrives REUTERS/Eddie Keogh
Can JP McManus own the winner of the Boyne Hurdle for the first time since 2017?

Darasso finished second Red Mills Trial Hurdle on Saturday afternoon so is unlikely to be declared come the off.

TIP: Darver Star‘s Lingfield second has been well franked with the third going onto win twice since and will have a massive chance on his best form, but he’s won just one of his last 11 starts so looks opposable at the prices. This looks a prep run for Longhouse Poet before tackling fences once again, but a big run can be expected from ASHDALE BOB who won a maiden and Grade 2 at this track as a novice before a third behind two useful sorts over fences.

Dominic Chapman is senior content writer at Low6 with a passion for horse racing. He provides a NAP and NB every day throughout the week on selected National Hunt and Flat cards in both Britain and Ireland. Additionally, he hosts the Paddock Picks Podcast with former Welsh Grand National-winning pilot, Charlie Poste - the pair interviewing and discussing current racing topics with a special guest every week.