Mullins undecided on Un De Sceaux’s Champion prospects

Willie Mullins has left Un De Sceaux in the Stan James Champion Hurdle alongside Hurricane Fly.

Mullins undecided on Un De Sceaux’s Champion prospects

The pair, along with Annie Power, feature among 12 horses to stand their ground at the confirmation stage, although Annie Power has the Ladbrokes World Hurdle and a clash with Big Buck’s as her intended target.

While the claims of dual winner Hurricane Fly are clear, Un De Sceaux would be facing a steep jump in class after winning a couple of moderate events before landing the Red Mills Trial Hurdle at Gowran last month.

The six-year-old is unbeaten in five runs for Mullins after transferring to his care last February.

The Closutton handler, who has also left in Thousand Stars, told www.wpmullins.com: “I have only given him one entry next week and that is in the Champion Hurdle. That would be a huge step up in class from his other races and we have to weigh up whether now is the time to go for the Champion. I don’t have any other thoughts regarding his plans after that, ie Aintree or Punchestown.

“We will decide on the Champion first then take it from there. Whether he goes or not he is clearly a very exciting prospect for us.”

My Tent Or Yours was the subject of a minor injury scare on Tuesday when he was found to have sustained a small puncture wound to the sole of one of his feet, but Nicky Henderson reports his charge back on form.

“I’m very happy today and the farriers have done a great job, so many thanks to them,” he siad

Tony McCoy will ride My Tent Or Yours for retained owner JP McManus.

McManus is also responsible for the Jessica Harrington-trained Jezki and Captain Cee Bee, who was supplemented for the race at a cost of £20,000 yesterday.

Trainer Eddie Harty said: “He ran very well in the Irish Champion, but that came after the English Champion had closed. ”

Dessie Hughes’ Our Conor was an impressive winner of the Triumph Hurdle last spring and further enhances the Irish challenge, while Melodic Rendezvous has shone in winning two trial events for Jeremy Scott.

Ptit Zig could represent Paul Nicholls, with Alan King’s Grumeti rounding out the field.

Willie Mullins is leaning towards a crack at the RSA Chase with Ballycasey, while Felix Yonger is due to step back up in trip in the 2m4f JLT Novices’ Chase. Racing Post Arkle 3-1 shot Champagne Fever will also contest the race on Tuesday for which he is favourite.

Ballycasey, who beat Don Cossack by four lengths in the Grade 1 Moriarty Novice Chase last time out, has ran just twice over fences but Mullins is confident he will have the class to overcome his rivals.

Champagne Fever has only had two runs over fences but impressed in a schooling session after racing at Leopardstown on Sunday.

Harry Fry’s Rock On Ruby is also no stranger to Cheltenham, famously lifting the Champion Hurdle in 2012 when officially trained by Paul Nicholls and finding only Hurricane Fly too good last year.

Mullins can also call on Djakadam, Felix Yonger and Mozoltov, with Nicholls having two strong contenders with Dodging Bullets and Hinterland, and Fry another potential candidate in Vukovar.

The Charles Byrnes-trained Triofolium was a smart winner of the Irish Arkle, with stablemate Arnaud and Tony Martin’s Ted Veale others still in contention for Ireland.

Last season’s Champion Bumper winner Briar Hill will step up in trip for the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle.

The unbeaten six-year-old has taking to hurdling well this season landing a Grade 1 novice hurdle at Navan and a Grade 2 at Naas over 2m4f but looks set to step up to 3m for the first time at Prestbury Park as Faugheen will represent Mullins in the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle.

Mullins will saddle three in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, the only Grade 1 novice event for which he does not train the favourite, with Vautour, Wicklow Brave and Valseur Lido all likely to take their chance.

A formidable challenge from Ireland could be strengthened by Enda Bolger’s Gilgamboa, the impressive Boylesports.com Hurdle winner, and Pat Fahy’s Western Boy.

The Paul Nicholls-trained Irving has looked classy in maintaining his unbeaten record over hurdles and could be joined by stablemate Lac Fontana.

Nicky Henderson has two strong candidates in Josses Hill and Vaniteux.

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