Harrington pair clash at Navan
Trainer Jessica Harrington is resigned to again running two of her smartest young jumping prospects against each other.
It was not an unqualified success when Jenari and Oscars Well took each other on at Punchestown three weeks ago, but lack of options mean they are both out in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Novice Chase at Navan on Saturday.
Jenari, a Grade Two novice hurdle winner last season who scored nicely on his chasing debut at Naas, at least completed the course last time, but a combination of bad luck and some poor jumping meant he finished tailed off.
But Oscars Well, who was second in the Irish Champion Hurdle and had also made a pleasing start over fences, took a heavy fall at the second fence.
Robbie Power takes the ride on Oscars Well, with Mark Walsh on Jenari.
"I have to run them both, because I need to get a run into them before options at Christmas and there's just nowhere else to go," said Harrington.
"Neither had a great experience last time but they've come out of the race well and just need a bit more practice.
"The weather has been horrible over here and the ground at Navan will be heavy, but what can you do?"
Noel Meade's Dylan Ross will also line up having opened his account over fences at Navan last month, although he was beaten by Jenari previously.
Moscow Mannon, one of Ireland's leading bumper performers last season, makes his debut over timber in the Irish Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle
Trained in Northern Ireland by Brian Hamilton, the six-year-old was beaten just over five lengths into fourth by Champagne Fever in the Cheltenham Bumper in March.
A slight setback has delayed his hurdling debut but he is now ready to get going.
"I'm walking on egg shells a bit," admitted Hamilton.
"He made nice progress last season as he took time to strengthen up, but he's a lot stronger this year.
"He had a mishap schooling in October which put us back a bit as I wanted to run him at Down Royal. He just overstretched and pulled a few muscles.
"He's fine now, though, and all I can do with him at home has been done.
"In time I reckon he'll want two and a half miles but in heavy ground first time back two miles is fine.
"He handles bad ground but he showed at Cheltenham he handles good ground, too, so it makes no difference to him.
"If all goes well Leopardstown might just come a bit quick so we'll maybe look for a race for him in January, but I don't want to count my chickens before they're hatched.
"The owner has been very loyal to me and left him with me and I'm very grateful."
Leading jockey Andrew Lynch takes over from Declan Lavery in the saddle.
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