Globetrotting veteran Gordon Lord Byron set for Navan debut
Gordon Lord Byron has been to many places and run in many races during his long career and on Saturday the remarkable ten-year-old will make his first appearance at Navan when he faces two rivals in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Race (2.30).
The Tom Hogan-trained veteran, who will be contesting his 90th race today, has run at 25 courses worldwide, including 11 in Ireland. Navan is not one of them, although he was due to run there last October until pulled out due to a stone bruise.
Although he has not won since scoring his 16th win in last season’s Group 2 Greenlands Stakes at the Curragh, he has maintained a good level of form.
In his most recent start, he ran Expert Eye to one and a quarter lengths in the Group 3 City Of York Stakes at York last month and Hogan said: "His last run was a very good one and he seems in great form. The conditions of the race suit him well and we're hoping for a big run."
Taking on Gordon Lord Byron are the Aidan O'Brien-trained Battle Of Jericho, winner of the valuable Rockingham Handicap at the Curragh in June and Sheila Lavery's Mr Scarlet.
"Battle Of Jericho has been in good form since his run in the Nunthorpe. The trip and good ground should suit him," O'Brien said.
O'Brien runs Isle Of Innisfree and North Wind in the five furlong nursery (3.40), the most valuable race on the card, and the pair have similar profiles having taken six runs to get off the mark.
Isle Of Innisfree carries a 6lb penalty for his win over the trip at Naas four days ago, while North Wind was successful over six furlongs at the same track in July.
"Isle Of Innisfree seems to have come out of his Naas race well while North Wind had a break after his win and is just ready to start back. He's well but should come on from the run," O'Brien said.
Johnny Murtagh is represented by Lord Rapscallion who drops in trip following his six furlong nursery win at the Curragh two weeks ago.
British raider Only Spoofing, trained by Jedd O'Keeffe, faces five rivals, including the Ballydoyle pair Lost Treasure and Dali in the five furlong Troytown Bar Handicap (3.05).
Lost Treasure is on a hat-trick following two wins at the Curragh where he won a handicap over five furlongs eight days ago.
"Lost Treasure progressed nicely from his maiden win to win last time and we've been happy with him since," said O'Brien. "Dali was a bit disappointing at Tipperary on his last start, but we think Navan might suit him better."
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