Murchu aiming for Navan riches
Trainer Shark Hanlon is hoping Murchu can earn a tilt at the Irish Grand National with victory in a competitive event at Navan on Monday.
The seven-year-old was a close second in last week's Leinster National at Naas and is turned out quickly for the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Novice Handicap Chase Final.
Hanlon said: "He's been very consistent all year and really we're running him because, at the moment, he's not high enough in the weights to get into the Irish National.
"He'd have to win to get in. Ideally I'd rather have left him a bit longer since his last run, but we'll give him his chance. He seems in great form."
Paul Nolan saddles the lightly-raced Panther Claw in the three-mile contest.
The point-to-point graduate has run just five times under Rules and was last seen finishing a fine third in the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park in late January.
Nolan said: "Hopefully he goes there with a big of a chance. He has a bit of experience having run well in the Thyestes against older horses and he's back in a novice handicap now.
"He has to give a bit of weight away - I was hoping there would be a higher-rated horse in there to keep the weights down - but there's nothing we can do about that.
"He's in good shape, testing ground doesn't seem to bother him and hopefully he'll run a nice race."
Liam Burke's My Murphy heads the 16-runner field, while the hat-trick-seeking Wise Oscar is a major contender for Dessie Hughes and Bryan Cooper.
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