Blood Destiny came back in trip to some effect to claim the Flyingbolt Novice Chase at Navan.

Beaten by Spillane’s Tower in January when taking a keen hold in front, he moved nicely this time in second for Paul Townend, going strongly after three out before leading two from home and winging the last on the way to an impressive victory, with his Punchestown conqueror six and a half lengths in arrears on this occasion.

“New tactics, I thought that might be a help after Punchestown,” Willie Mullins said of his 8-11 favourite.

“Paul was very taken with him there. He’s brilliant to jump, that was always his feature, but we were making too much use of his jumping instead of just using it when we needed it.

“Coming back in trip might have been a help as well.”

Despite being trimmed for his Cheltenham Festival entries (Arkle and Turners Novices’ Chase), Mullins has other plans.

He added: “I don’t know whether we’ve made a mistake now leaving him at home for Cheltenham but at least he has one nice prize in the bag.

“I’d imagine he’ll probably go for the WillowWarm Gold Cup at Fairyhouse. That was the plan, here and then on to that.

“I know it’s two and a half, but that two and a half will be all right for him as well.”

Ash Tree Meadow was a 7-2 winner of the BoyleSports Webster Cup for Gordon Elliott and Sam Ewing.

Turning out just six days after finishing fourth in the Newlands Chase at Naas behind the brilliant but injury-plagued Ferny Hollow, the eight-year-old made every yard of the running on his way to a three-and-a-quarter length victory over Lucid Dreams.

The long-absent 4-6 favourite Journey With Me was a further half a length away in third place.

“It wasn’t really the plan to run him but when the race looked like it would cut up we decided we’d declare him and then make our mind up what to do. It worked out great,” Elliott said.

“He’s a good horse, Sam said he hated that ground and he’ll be better on better ground.

“There is a race in Fairyhouse and a race in Aintree for him. ”

Elliott and Ewing were completing a double on the card following the earlier victory of 4-6 favourite Instant Tendance in the BoyleSports Money Back 2nd To The Favourite Mares Maiden Hurdle.

“We had four or five seconds last weekend but no winner. I’d be anxious myself, we haven’t much between now and Cheltenham but it’s happy days (today),” Elliott added.

Connections are confident that both Inthepocket and Fact To File have a bright future over fences following their respective chasing bows at Navan over the weekend.

Both novices are owned by JP McManus and rate as exciting prospects for the season ahead having advertised high-class potential last term.

Stepping out over the larger obstacles for the first time Inthepocket faced an old foe from his novice hurdling days, with Facile Vega proving too hot to handle, while Fact To File bumped into a rejuvenated American Mike having skipped timber and sent straight over fences following a year in bumpers.

“We were very happy with both horses and both will learn a little bit for their outing,” said McManus’ racing manager Frank Berry.

“They were both beaten by two very good horses and you would have to be very happy with the way they jumped and hopefully they will learn a bit from it.”

The duo will remain in the calm waters as they search a first victory over fences, with Berry indicating there is always plenty of depth in the Irish novice chasing ranks, and there will be ample opportunities to raise sights later in the campaign.

He continued: “We were very pleased with them both and we’ll see where they go in a couple of weeks. We have no plans, they have both come out of their races OK, will have a couple of weeks and wherever there is a beginners chase, they will probably go there.

“I would have thought that would be the natural thing to do with them.

“The novice and beginners chases here are always hot and there are always three or four good horses in them. It was the same at the weekend, they are good races and you hope the horses learn a bit from the experience.”

The Henry de Bromhead-trained Inthepocket began his chasing career at the two-mile distance he tasted Grade One success over at Aintree in the spring and although he has a Grade Two victory over further to his name, the McManus team seem in little rush to step up in trip just yet.

Berry said: “We will probably stick to two miles for the time being, it will depend on where the races crop up. He can definitely go two-and-a-half, but I would say if the races are there he will stick to the two miles.

Meanwhile, Fact To File fell just short in providing his trainer Willie Mullins with yet another Champion Bumper victory at Prestbury Park in the spring and was sent off at odds-on to make a successful chasing debut over two-and-a-half miles.

It is a distance he thrived over at Leopardstown during his bumper season, but Berry suggested there would be no qualms about dropping back in trip if required.

“I would say he is happy at that trip, but if he had to come back to two miles that wouldn’t be a problem,” he added.

“It’s where we can find the races for them here, there are so many good races around, I would say he will either stick to two-and-a-half or two.”

Aidan O’Brien’s Euphoric made a winning start to his career with a narrow success on his debut at Navan.

The Frankel two-year-old is out a Pivotal mare named Blue Waltz and fetched 1,900,000 guineas as a yearling when sold via Tattersalls this time last year.

The Maiden was the colt’s first racecourse outing and under Seamie Heffernan he was the 15-8 favourite for the one-mile contest.

Victory did not always look a foregone conclusion as two furlongs from home the bay was in the middle of the field of 12 runners with Ger Lyons’ Rocking Tree leading the way.

The O’Brien youngster was continually gaining ground, however, and in the final strides just edged into the lead to defeat Rocking Tree by a short head on the line.

“He’s babyish, but he’s off to a good start. It’s hard for any of our horses to win first time out. The ones who do usually progress into Group horses so hopefully he will too,” said Heffernan.

“I wanted to get him organised, get him balanced and then get him going and see what was there. I’m happy he won.

“He’s well bred and his heart is in the right place, so hopefully he keeps on improving.”

Chris Armstrong, O’Brien’s stable representative, added: “He was just ready to start and he’s a lovely colt to look forward to.

“He’s still a bit of a baby, it was great to get him out at this time of year and he’s one to look forward to for next year.

“He’ll be a lovely mile-and-a-quarter, middle-distance horse. It’s grand to get him started, one run into him at least at two, and we’ll see how he progresses between now and the end of the year.

“He has still a bit to go mentally and physically.”

Francis Meynell could be immediately upped in grade at Doncaster’s St Leger Festival having made a successful introduction at Navan.

Michael O’Callaghan’s speedily-bred Blue Point youngster cost 125,000 guineas at the breeze-up sales earlier in the year and went some way to justifying that price-tag with a taking display in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.

Sent immediately to the front by Leigh Roche, he barely saw another rival as he defied inexperience to produce an ultra-professional performance and register a running-on three-quarters of a length success at 8-1.

His trainer was suitably impressed and is now eyeing a trip to Town Moor on September 15 for the Carlsberg Danish Pilsner Stakes, the Group Two contest most commonly known as the Flying Childers.

“He’s a horse I’ve taken my time with. He’s quite enthusiastic at home so we went back to basics with him and we’ve slowly let him get himself ready for this,” said O’Callaghan.

“He’s going to improve plenty. It’s more so his mind that made him look so professional today, but I think he’ll improve a lot from what he’s done at home.

“It looked like a good race on paper beforehand and Leigh said he thought that he was only in second gear.

“I thought if he was able to win his maiden today and he looked nice that I might pitch him into something like the Flying Childers.

“He’s quick, he’d get six furlongs I’d say, but he has a lot of speed and there is no point trying to tame it.

“I not trying to talk him up but I honestly don’t know where the bottom of him is.”

Earlier on the card Aidan O’Brien’s Pop Star (100-30) highlighted his potential when downing 1-3 favourite Yosemite Valley to shed his maiden tag at the third time of asking.

Off the track since finishing second at Navan just over a year ago, the son of Sioux Nation showed plenty of pace to make up for lost time and potentially earn a shot at something bigger and better next time.

“We thought a bit of him last year and he got a setback, he’s missed a lot of time off the track,” said winning rider Seamie Heffernan.

“Pat Martin trained the mother, she was very genuine and she won a heap of races.

“In the last 20 yards was quite green but I was more than happy with him.

“He’s quick, five or six furlongs. If he gets seven furlongs, he’s definitely a stakes horse.”

Also on course for a sterner test in his next outing is Michael Mulvaney’s Bid For Chester (7-2) who thrived dropping back in trip to break his duck at the fifth attempt in the Navan Racecourse Nursery Handicap.

“He fired a warning shot the other day and Chris came in a said he was a bit green when he went for him,” said Mulvany.

“When he came through them today the hill suited him.

“Hopefully now he’ll go to the sales race, the Goffs Sportman’s Challenge in Naas on September 14th. That was the plan all year.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.