Hurricane Fly to follow familiar path

Willie Mullins plans to “keep things simple” with Hurricane Fly, with the dual Champion Hurdle hero likely to make his seasonal return in next month’s Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown.

Hurricane Fly to follow familiar path

The nine-year-old used the Grade One event as his starting point for the last campaign, during which he was unbeaten in five starts, winning a third successive Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown before regaining his Cheltenham crown.

Mullins said: “I think we’ll keep things simple with him and go down the same route as last year.”

Mullins has yet to make plans for his Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Sir Des Champs, who signed off last season with a rousing victory at Punchestown.

He said: “I haven’t spoken to his connections (Gigginstown House Stud) and we’ll know more once he starts doing stronger work.”

Mullins is pleased with the condition of his talented string, but would like to see some more rain to allow him step the training up a gear in the coming weeks.

“I’m happy enough so far. The horses are making good progress I think,” said the champion trainer.

“I thought when the weather broke last week that we’d be able to get on the grass, but it’s drying up again now, so we might have to wait a little longer.”

Meanwhile, Robbie Hennessy is targeting next month’s Clonmel Oil Chase with Rubi Light after his stable star’s excellent comeback run at Gowran Park on Saturday.

The eight-year-old endured a disappointing second half of the season last time around but appears to be as good as ever judged on his close-up third behind Sizing Europe in last weekend’s PWC Champion Chase and he is now set to head to Clonmel on November 14 before bidding to win the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase in December for a second time.

Hennessy said: “I was absolutely thrilled with him and it was nice to see him jumping well and galloping all the way to the line.

“We had a chat over the weekend and I think we’ll probably go for the Clonmel Oil Chase next and then hopefully on to the John Durkan, by which time hopefully we’ll have proper winter soft ground.”

Trainer Mouse Morris has confirmed next month’s Fortria Chase at Navan as the likely next port of call for Baily Green following his excellent run in defeat at Gowran Park on Saturday.

The seven-year-old performed admirably to fill the runner-up spot, splitting Sizing Europe and Rubi Light, and he is now set for a trip to Navan on November 10.

Morris said: “He ran a cracker. I was well pleased with him.

“It was a very good run for a second-season novice against those more experienced horses and all being well, he’ll go to Navan now for the Fortria, coming back in trip.”

*Former Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Long Run is again set to make his seasonal reappearance in November’s Betfair Chase at Haydock.

It will be the third consecutive time the Waley-Cohen family’s star has returned in the Grade One, in which he finished second to both Kauto Star in 2011 and Silviniaco Conti last year.

Trainer Nicky Henderson has also recently mentioned the Betfair Chase as an option for Bobs Worth.

Meanwhile, Grand National hero Auroras Encore could make his seasonal reappearance in the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby next month.

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