Mullins takes wraps off a couple of big guns
Willie Mullins unleashes two of his big hopes for the season this weekend, with a top-class couple of days in store in Ireland.
The champion trainer again has an arsenal of riches for every department, but it is his sharper chasers who take centre stage with Gentleman De Mee in action at Naas on Saturday before Ferny Hollow reappears at Navan on Sunday.
The JP McManus-owned Gentleman De Mee has won the last three of his five outings over fences and was last seen flooring Arkle hero Edwardstone at Aintree.
He is set to face four rivals in the Barberstown Castle Poplar Square Chase, a Grade Three over two miles – before a potential clash with Shishkin next month.
“He is in good shape, but his Grade One penalty won’t help him. Hopefully it will put him right for the Tingle Creek, but it is a tough old race,” said the Closutton handler.
Ferny Hollow remains one of the most exciting horses in training when he is right. He returns to the track for the first time since December when he tackles the Grade Two Sean P. Muldoon & Patrick F. Gormley Fortria Chase, where his opponents include Gordon Elliott’s smart mare Riviere D’etel.
Mullins said: “He has to start off somewhere and fingers crossed he stays sound this year. I’m looking forward to him.”
Mullins also has an interest at Cheltenham on Sunday, with Dads Lad in the Unibet Greatwood Hurdle.
The seven-year-old was a winner over fences at the October fixture and Mullins added: “He likes the track and I think the ground is right for him. We are hoping for the best that lightning can strike twice in one place.”
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