Mullins And Walsh To Cause Double Trouble

Sunday’s Grade 2 Fortria Chase at Navan (2.15) is a sign that the jumps season is hitting full stride, and this weekend’s 2m event is shaping up to be a real thriller.

Special Season For Tiara
Currently heading the betting on 7/4 is Henry De Bromhead’s improving 8yo, Special Tiara, who saved his best for last when signing off the season with a 6l defeat of Sprinter Sacre in a Grade 1 at Aintree (2m, good).

While an exciting 2015/16 season lies ahead, it may be that he could use this as a springboard for the winter, which was the case 12 months ago when 11l behind Twinlight here. Special Tiara was also unseated on his reappearance in 2013, suggesting this outing may be needed.

Twinlight On The Follow-Up
Can Willie Mullins’ Twinlight (3/1) land this race for a second time on Sunday?

Winning first time out for the last two seasons, he will no doubt be tuned to go well once more.

He also beat another of Sunday’s rivals, Hidden Cyclone (11/4), around 5l in a Grade 1 over Christmas (2m, heavy), though that rival did exact revenge at Punchestown a month later, again by 5l.

Cylone To Blow Hot?
It will be fascinating to see who comes out on top between Twinlight and Hidden Cyclone at the weekend, but if the ground stays no worse than yielding, then preference would be for Twinlight. Punters should definitely focus their attention on the main contenders in this event as history suggests the winner may emerge from the shorter end of the market…

Fortria Chase Trends
Of the last 10 winners…
10 returned 8/1 or shorter
9 won twice or more over 2m
9 ran in a Graded race last time
9 made the top three last time

Hotel Booked For A Place?
Another in the right odds range is Special Tiara’s stablemate, Days Hotel (8/1), who was 7l behind Twinlight in last year’s renewal. But, with a win record of just 1-11 since April 2013, he could be more of an each-way consideration.

Also on 8/1 is Bright New Dawn, who won a similar Grade 2 event here two seasons ago (2m1f), but is another who finds it hard to win these days, and his fall behind Don Cossack last month leaves question marks.

Completing the six-runner line-up is the popular, Flemenstar (16/1), winner of this race in 2013, but who has something to prove having been well beaten on both outings last season.

Recommended Bets
With fancied runners historically doing well in this, the nod is given to last year’s winner, Twinlight, to follow-up at 3/1. Unlike some of the others, this will be an early-season target and Ruby Walsh is aboard to do the job.

*Prices correct at time of publication