Ashdale Bob claimed a surprise victory in the BetVictor Make Your Best Bet Novice Hurdle at Navan.
A field of seven runners went to post for a Grade Two contest better known as the Navan Novice Hurdle, with much of the pre-race attention focussing on the previously unbeaten 7-4 favourite Holymacapony, and the brilliant Envoi Allen’s half-brother, Fighter Allen.
The latter cut out much of the running under Paul Townend, with Holymacapony close up for much of the way, before dropping out quickly before the home turn.
With Fighter Allen’s challenge petering out early in the home straight, Gabynako was left in front jumping the third flight from the finish, before Jessica Harrington’s course-and-distance winner Ashdale Bob nipped up his inside and soon opened up a commanding advantage.
A slick leap at the final-flight sealed the 14-1 shot’s six-length win, providing jockey Paddy Kennedy with the biggest success of his riding career to date.
“He was very good. He switched off lovely today, which is important with him,” said Kennedy.
“He’s a nice horse, he improved a good bit from the last day and I think he’ll improve again on a bit of nicer ground.
“He’s a nice prospect going forward. I’d say chasing is his real game.”
Fakiera, partnered by the winning rider’s younger brother Jack Kennedy, was best of the rest in second.
Both Holymacapony and Fighter Allen were pulled up before the final obstacle.
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