Gordon Elliott missed the mark despite mounting a seven-strong challenge on the feature Troytown Handicap Chase, but a treble on the Navan undercard provided adequate compensation.
The County Meath handler took Grade Three honours with Fury Road in the “Monksfield” Novice Hurdle and also lifted a Listed prize with Bigbadandbeautiful.
A Listed winner at Gowran last month, Bigbadandbeautiful was sent off the 6-5 favourite to defy a penalty in the Coolmore N.H. Sires Irish EBF Mares INH Flat Race.
Ridden with supreme confidence by Jamie Codd, the Big Bad Bob mare finished with a real flourish in the two-mile heat, pulling six lengths clear of Dreamingandhoping at the line.
The winning handler said: “Jamie loves her, and you don’t see him smiling and petting one like that too often.
“She doesn’t qualify for too many bumpers now and could go for the Grade Two mares’ race in Leopardstown at the Dublin Racing Festival.”
Elliott also struck with Thatsy, a neck winner from Entoucas in the opening www.navanracecourse.ie Maiden Hurdle – a race overshadowed by an incident in which the runner-up crashed through the rail after the finish and collided with photographer Pat Healy, who needed hospital treatment.
Elliott said of the 2-1 winner: “He’s a grand horse and he’s been threatening to that for a while.
“It was nice to get his head in front, and the (first-time) tongue tie might have helped.”
Cash Back made an impressive start over fences in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase.
Grade Two placed over hurdles, Cash Back was sent off the 11-10 favourite for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend in the two-mile-one-furlong heat – and his task was slightly eased when one of his main market rivals, I’m A Game Changer, fell early in the race.
Cash Back then had far too much firepower for his other rivals, coasting home by seven lengths from Cappuccimix.
Mullins said: “That was a good performance. He’s a very forward-going horse, in the Un De Sceaux mode.
“I think he’ll stick to that trip, and his jumping should improve with fitness. We’ll head to Christmas, and he’ll have to improve to go to the highest grade.
“We’ll try to keep Laurina, Tornado Flyer and him apart at this stage.”
Trainer Ross O’Sullivan paid tribute to Robbie Power’s input after Bythesametoken (8-1) landed the Davis Civil Engineering Handicap Hurdle.
Power offered plenty of advice after finishing down the field on the five-year-old five days ago, and his words paid dividends as Darragh O’Keeffe steered him to a four-and-a-quarter-length success over Encore Lui.
O’Sullivan said: “We brought him to Limerick in a hurdle race for horses that couldn’t finish in the first three, and he got beat. We brought him to several places, and he was breaking our heart.
“Robert Power rode him last Tuesday for us, and he was very disappointing. Robert said he was crying out for a cross noseband and a tongue tie, and said he was not getting enough oxygen in.
“We had him entered, but Friday morning I was inclined not to declare. But Rob (Monroe, part-owner) said we had nothing to lose – and Robert was proved 100 per cent right.
“He also said to drop him in and give him a chance to breathe, and that was the winning of the race today.
“Darragh gave him a great ride. He had a nice, light weight on his back – and maybe going left-handed helped as well.”
Jockey Danny Mullins and trainer Pat Fahy combined to good effect with half-length winner Mister Fogpatches (12-1) in the Mervyn Gray Construction Handicap Hurdle.
Mullins said: “The last day in Clonmel he just burned too much petrol early on, and myself and Pat had a chat and we thought these galloping tracks might suit him better.
“They flew down the back the first time, and I probably ended up a few places further back than the plan was, but at least I was settled. I knew I would have petrol late on – and it worked out nice.
“Hopefully there is more to come, and he’s learned from the last day.”