The Cheltenham Festival’s leading rider is a significant booking for the Charles Byrnes-trained mare, already a three-time winner over fences, most recently when beating Belle Brook at Thurles in January.
But it’s Knockfierna’s only defeat in her last four starts which makes particularly interesting reading — she was upsides Thursday’s Jewson Novices Chase winner Sir Des Champs in a Grade 2 event at Limerick when running out going to the second last.
The selection must concede weight to her nine rivals. But this has been her target since that win at Thurles and she can prove too strong for Banjaxed Girl, a creditable second to Rathlin at Fairyhouse last time.
In the earlier Kerry Group Mares Novice Hurdle, Eddie Harty’s Dressedtothenines sets a decent standard in the wake of her fine second to Felix Yonger (runner-up to Simonsig at Cheltenham on Wednesday) in a Grade 2 event at Naas recently.
The Jimmy Mangan-trained Kilcrea, beaten by the smart Cloncanon Lad at Limerick before opening his account at Gowran Park last month, might have the edge over Mozoltov in the valuable Kevin Frost Memorial Flat Race.
A faller three out in the Thyestes won by On His Own before gaining a confidence-boosting success over hurdles at Punchestown, The Bishop Looney very much catches the eye in the featured Irish Stallion farms Novices Handicap Chase in Navan tomorrow.
Successful at Cork and Galway last autumn, The Bishop Looney relishes soft ground and a test of stamina and should figure prominently here.
Earlier on the Navan card, Folsom Blue, which failed to cope with the drop back to two and a half miles in the Grade 2 won by Lyreen Legend at Thurles last time, looks the one to beat in the Irish Stallion Farms Novice Hurdle.
Pick of today’s action is the Gordon Elliott-trained Time To Work in the opening Daily Mirror Maiden Hurdle at Down Royal.
Hampered early, he was second, when odds-on, to Dysios at Navan last time, after a promising effort behind Bat Masterson at Naas, and is expected to take full advantage of the 12lbs he receives from Hawk Flight.