/ Racing

Navan card cut short due to safety concerns

Updated: Saturday, 28 Sep 2013 18:18 | Comments

Noel Meade was part of a delegation to inspect the track
Noel Meade was part of a delegation to inspect the track

This afternoon’s meeting at Navan was abandoned after four races of a seven-race card due to safety concerns.

There were several instances of horses slipping, prompting a group of officials and jockeys to inspect the track.

They were not satisfied with the condition of the ground and called off the rest of the card.

Noel Meade was due to saddle the favourite in the fifth race on the card but was fully supportive of the decision.

"Any time you have to make decisions like that it is tough, but I was with them on the track and I'm 100% behind them on this one," Meade told At The Races.

"It's nobody's fault. The ground got very firm in the summer, they watered to make it as good as they could, but the water just penetrated the top two inches.

"We had a shower of rain and only the top two inches had moisture in it, under that it is very firm so they were knocking the top off it and just sliding."

The opening Navan Maiden Hurdle on the truncated card went the way of Charles O’Brien’s Fantasy King under a confident Andrew McNamara.

The 4-1 shot arrived on the scene full of running but the jockey was at pains to play his hand late and waited until after the final flight before asking for an effort, at which point Fantasy King cleared away to win by an easy length and a half.

Davy Russell looked to have plenty of horse under him as he led all the way down the straight on Minella Fiveo in the Slane Maiden Hurdle, and the John Nallen-trained 9-10 favourite found plenty for a comfortable victory by five and a half lengths.

Martin Brassil's 11-4 favourite Celestial Prospect ran out a convincing winner of the Racing Again Wednesday 9th October Handicap Hurdle by three and three-quarter lengths after being brought with a steady run by Ruby Walsh on his only ride of the day.

John Morrison's 15-2 chance Invincible Don was always prominent under Paddy Mangan in the Kells Handicap Hurdle and took it up at the second-last before scooting clear on the run-in to score by seven and a half lengths.

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