Author: Tony MacDonald
Published: 10:28 04/01/2015
Willie Mullins saddles a pair of short odds favourites at Naas on Sunday afternoon, but are they worth backing?
1.00 Naas - Irish Stallion Farms E B F Novice Chase
Blood Cotil is a best price 6/5 with Coral and Ladbrokes to make a winning return to a 2 mile trip and certainly sets the standard, but a couple of the opposition are not easily passed over.
Fine Righty had useful form over the smaller obstacles, but really took to chasing when runner-up from a big field at Navan three weeks ago and it would be no surprise to see the mount of Davy Russel go one better today. Sizing Granite won over course and distance in November and wasn't without a chance when unseating at Punchestown last time, so could easily come into the reckoning despite a 6lb penalty.
The market leader will take all of the beating if putting in a tidy round of jumping, but that's the sticking point. Blood Cotil fell on his chase debut and has subsequently failed to oblige at 11/8 and 2/1 with mistakes costing him on both occasions.
1.30 Naas - Lawlors Hotel Novice Hurdle
Betting for this Grade 1 hurdle revolves around Tell Us More, a 7-1 Ante-Post favourite for the Neptune Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
There is no doubt that the 6-year-old is an exciting prospect after comfortably winning both starts under rules at Gowran Park, but the form of those races isn't particularly strong and at best odds 4/5 with Betvictor, one or two others may be worth chancing instead.
AP McCoy gets the ride on Free Expression who made it 3 from 3 under rules when proving 1 and a quarter lengths too strong for Shantou Flyer in the course and distance "Monksfield" Novice Hurdle last time out and is unlikely to go down without a fight on that evidence.
Then there's Couleur France whose form reads 21213 this term. He was an easy winner at Fairyhouse in November before finishing third over this track and trip in a Grade 2 last month and therefore should not be written off today.