Battleford beaten on hurdles bow
The early news from Navan, where Battleford flopped on his first start over hurdles as Brelade struck for Gordon Elliott.
Gordon Elliott: Saddled Brelade to win the opener at Navan.
Red-hot favourite Battlefordproved bitterly disappointing as Brelade claimed top honours in the INH Stallion Owners European Breeders Fund Maiden Hurdle at Navan.
Having been narrowly beaten into second in both the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham and the equivalent contest at Aintree last spring, the Willie Mullins-trained Battleford was unsurprisingly all the rage to make a winning start to his jumping career under Rules as the 1/3 favourite in a 30-runner field.
The five-year-old travelled well enough for a long way, but was in trouble before the home turn and eventually finished a well-beaten fourth.
Brelade, an 11/1 shot for Gordon Elliott after opening his account at the fourth attempt in a Naas bumper three weeks ago, was given a confident ride by Jack Kennedy and after cruising into contention in the straight, a big jump at the final flight proved crucial as he got the better of Joey Sasa by a neck.
Elliott said: "He's a nice horse and wants a bit further. We'll step him up in trip now.
"It's great for Jack as that's his first winner since he came back from injury."