Can they handle ‘thetruth?

Stretchingthetruth puts his unbeaten record on the line in the "Monksfield" Novice Hurdle at Navan on Sunday.

Stretchingthetruth puts his unbeaten record on the line

The JP McManus-owned five-year-old won his only point-to-point before making a successful debut under Rules in a Punchestown bumper back in April.

He returned to County Kildare for his hurdling introduction last month and while he was made to pull out all the stops to justify odds-on favouritism, the form was boosted by the subsequent Cork victory of Gordon Elliott-trained runner-up Bilko.

Meade said: "Once you've won your maiden there aren't many places you can go, so we'll let him take his chance and learn a bit more about him.

"The horse of Gordon's he beat in Punchestown has won since. We're stepping him up to two and a half miles, which might help, and I think Navan will suit him, so we're hopeful."

The Tu Va handler has saddled four of the last eight winners of this Grade Three prize and has a second contender in the form of smart filly She's A Star, who has won four of her five career starts.

"The filly has done very little wrong and we don't really know how good she is," said Meade.

"The handicapper put her up 9lb for winning the last day, which knocks her out of those rated novice hurdles.

"She's only small, so I was tempted by the 10st 8lb she has to carry and we'll see what happens."

McManus has a second representative in Enda Bolger's Stand Up And Fight, who was a comfortable winner at Punchestown last month.

Elliott also fires a twin assault, with impressive Roscommon scorer Death Duty joined by the hat-trick-seeking Monbeg Notorious.

The Elliott pair carry the colours of Gigginstown House Stud, as does Lion In His Heart, who made a winning start to his jumping career at Tipperary for Henry de Bromhead.

The seven-runner field is completed by the Willie Mullins-trained Livelovelaugh.

The point-to-point and bumper winner steps up in grade on his first start since easily winning a maiden hurdle at Ballinrobe at the start of May.

Patrick Mullins, the champion trainer's son and assistant, said: "He has had his problems but has plenty of ability, as he's shown we've got him to the track.

"It's not ideal for him to be having his first run of the season in a Graded race, but he won his maiden hurdle after the new season started.

"I think he's a horse who will step up to three miles at some stage."

Read More at Sporting Life

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