Osana sets up Europe showdown

Osana booked his ticket for a Christmas trip to Leopardstown with a comfortable victory in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Novice Chase at Navan today.

Edward O'Grady's charge is set to make the leap to Grade One company in the Bord Na Mona Novices Chase on Boxing Day after seeing off Dancing Tornado in style.

Andrew McNamara was keen to make all on the 2-5 favourite, who was a winner at this track on his fencing bow, and after jumping off swiftly the result never looked in doubt with Osana coming home 12 lengths clear.

William Hill were suitably impressed with the 2008 Champion Hurdle runner-up and cut Osana to 8-1 from 10s for the Arkle at Cheltenham.

However, Osana will face a significant test next time as he is set to clash with the likes of Captain Cee Bee and Sizing Europe at Leopardstown.

"That should leave him right for Leopardstown," said O'Grady. "Andrew said the ground was just about raceable so hopefully it won't take too much out of him."

Operation Houdini could head to Chepstow over the Festive period after outbattling Mythical Prince by a short head in the Proudstown Handicap Hurdle.

Davy Fitzgerald's was sent off the 9-4 favourite despite unseating rider Niall Madden four out in the Troytown Chase last time and he dug deep to just prevail in the shadow of the post.

"Niall felt he struggled in the ground. He doesn't want it that deep," said Fitzgerald.

"The Welsh National is still the plan, but if it looked like coming up absolutely bottomless at Chepstow we might look at the Paddy Power at Leopardstown instead."

Davy Russell was in good form, scoring the first of two wins aboard Where's The Dosh (4-1) in the Kells Maiden Hurdle before following up on Magnanimity (2-1) in the Irish Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle.

Glenstal Abbey (5-1) was a surprise winner of the Kilberry Novice Hurdle after 8-15 favourite Quinola Des Obeaux was pulled up before two out.

The Charlie Swan-trained winner took it up three out under David Casey as the market leader faded away and Glenstal Abbey ran out a three-and-a-half-length winner over Quito De La Rouge.

"He's a very consistent horse. We brought him to England last time but he's 10lb higher over there and is badly handicapped. We'll keep him to his own company," said Swan.

"He goes in the soft but I don't think any horse likes it that heavy. We might look for something after Christmas for him."

Telenor justified 6-4 favouritism as he galloped his rivals into submission under Andrew Lynch in the Navan Golf Course Beginners Chase.

"I'm very happy with that. He is a very backward horse but fortunately has a very patient owner," said trainer Jim Dreaper.

"He struggled to win a hurdle last season and we were happy to leave him off after that.

"He's not the quickest but stays. I'm delighted to win that. He's no Pandorama but he'll have to go up against winners now.

"If he stays in business, in 12 months' time he could be a different horse."

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