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Former Kelly pointer Navanman is UK Champion

Former Irish Pointer, Navanman, has been announced as the champion point-to-point horse in Britain after winning four races before the UK Pointing season was brought to a premature end on March 17th following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Well Chosen gelding, who made his competitive debut some six years ago, when second in a five-year-old geldings’ maiden at Athlacca for Pa King and Harry Kelly, had initially joined David Pipe where he spent two seasons at Pond House winning three races across an eight-day period in February 2016, has been competing in the UK point fields since returning from a sizeable lay-off in November 2017.

A five-time winner last season for John Heard, he has been in top form throughout the 2019/20 campaign winning four of his five outings, beginning with his seasonal re-appearance at Wadebridge in December, where he defeated El Bandit by three parts of a length.

The now 11-year-old returned to the Cornwall venue a month later to double his tally under Darren Edwards, as the pair took the Mixed Open, before recorded their second success in January in a similar contest Chipley Park.

Owned by an eight-strong syndicate which includes handler John Heard and a number of his family members, including his wife Sandra and son Michael, Navanman suffered his only defeat of the season when third to fellow Irish pointing export, Ballyhowne in a Mens Open at Wadesbridge in February, before clinching crucial fourth victory on what proved to be the final day of the UK season at Buckfastleigh on 15 March. 

That success proving to be his most comprehensive of the season, as he accounted for another Irish export, Big Georgie by a distance.

Navanman was one of thee horses to end the British campaign on four winners, his feat having also been matched by Fumet D’Oudairies and Just Cause, the latter who contested two four-year-old maidens for Gigginstown House Stud, however the third at Wadesbridge in February proved all important, as on count back it propelled him above his two fellow four-time winners, and earned him the Champion Horse title.

Having now contested 22 races between the flags in Britain, Navanman has a 50% strike rate, with his four successes this season leaving him on the 11-winners mark in points.

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