Mullins forced to rule Douvan, Klassical Dream and Saldier out of Cheltenham

Mullins forced to rule Douvan, Klassical Dream and Saldier out of Cheltenham

Willie Mullins has been dealt a blow ahead of next month’s Cheltenham Festival and has had to rule Saldier, Douvan and Klassical Dream out of the big meeting.

Douvan and Klassical Dream are previous Festival winners, while Saldier looked to be a major player in the Champion Hurdle but has not been seen since winning at Punchestown in November.

Both Saldier and Douvan are owned by Rich and Susannah Ricci, but have been difficult to keep fit in recent years.

Douvan appeared to retain all his old ability when winning the Clonmel Oil Chase, but another setback means he will not be going back to Cheltenham, where he won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in 2015 and the Arkle 12 months later.

“Unfortunately Klassical Dream is out for the season,” said Mullins.

“It’s the problem that ruled him out of the Irish Champion Hurdle last weekend.

“Douvan also won’t make Cheltenham, as won’t Saldier and he (Saldier) will probably miss Punchestown as well. If he does we’ll probably prepare him for a Flat campaign.”

One who will make Cheltenham but will not run again before the Festival is Cilaos Emery, a first-fence faller in the Dublin Chase last weekend.

“He was great after his fall, but I’m not going to run him before Cheltenham, I’ll just take him straight there,” said Mullins.

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