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Friday 21 September 2018

It's 'Star gazing on first date

All eyes on ex-Casey charge for Martin debut

Flemenstar, with Andrew Lynch up. Picture: Paul Mohan/SPORTSFILE
Flemenstar, with Andrew Lynch up. Picture: Paul Mohan/SPORTSFILE

ATTENDING the Melbourne Cup was a truly unforgettable experience and the journey home was one with dragging heels, but what a way to return as both Naas and Navan host good, proper jumps cards and we could be treated to many potential stars over the course of this weekend.

After being under a rather bright spotlight in Melbourne since Friday night, Willie Mullins returns to normality this weekend, but most interesting of all is the return of Flemenstar.

The Grade Two Boylesports.com Fortria Chase on Sunday at Navan looks a potential humdinger of a race with much of he focus sure to be on Flemenstar's first start for trainer Tony Martin in a race he won last year for Peter Casey.

Flemenstar hasn't been seen in competitive action since finishing third behind Sprinter Sacre and Cue Card at Aintree back in early April, but that was far from his true form and a line can easily be put through that run.

A wind operation over the summer months is likely to address something that was catching the horse last year and maybe curtailing his full potential and if that's the case and he's fit and ready for his seasonal bow, he will be very hard to beat in his quest for a second Fortria.

Willie Mullins did have both Sanctuaire and Arvika Ligeonniere in the race, both of whom are owned by Rich Ricci, with the former a mid-summer purchase from Paul Nicholls for £175,000, but Flemenstar will not have to face them, with only three other rivals left in the race.

Also at Navan is the Grade Two Boylesports Download App Lismullen Hurdle in which the Mouse Morris-trained Rule The World is an interesting entrant, as is Gordon Elliott's highly regarded Mala Beach, while Captain Cee Bee, who got back to winning ways on his last run at Tipperary, could also prove a threat.

The Grade Three Boylesports.com 'For Auction' Novice Hurdle is one of the races of the weekend, although it will be a small field it is full of class, while the maiden hurdle and bumper at Naas could produce plenty of clues.

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