Monday 25 September 2017

Mullins aims to run three in Melbourne Cup assault

Jockey Davy Russell. Photo: Sportsfile
Jockey Davy Russell. Photo: Sportsfile

Johnny Ward

Willie Mullins is hoping to run three horses in the Emirates Melbourne Cup on November 7, while Riven Light is to head to Australia too for a possible Cox Plate clash with wondermare Winx.

Mullins went agonisingly close to Melbourne glory two years ago with Max Dynamite, while Wicklow Brave and Thomas Hobson are also to head Down Under as Mullins takes aim at the "race that stops a nation".

"They'll earn more money out there than they will over here jumping and if I could I'd run the three of them in the Melbourne Cup," said Mullins, whose Riven Light won his third Flat race of the campaign at Listowel yesterday.

"Riven Light went on the ground well and just didn't really take to hurdling," he said. "He heads to Newmarket ahead of his quarantine before Australia. Before any Cox Plate, there are more realistic aspirations to go for."

Winx will be bidding for a third successive win in the Cox Plate, which has gone the way of horses such as Makybe Diva, So You Think and Helmet.

It has been a deeply frustrating year for Barry Geraghty, who missed the Cheltenham and Punchestown Festivals, but he is almost ready to return after his latest injury setback.

Geraghty sustained a hairline fracture of his shoulder blade in a fall at Killarney recently and said yesterday: "I've just talked with our chiropractor, it's improving and I'd be hoping for the weekend after this one to return."

Geraghty only returned from a spell on the sidelines at the Galway Festival after being off since April with a broken arm sustained in a fall from Minella Foru in the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse. He was forced out of this year's Cheltenham Festival when suffering lung and rib injuries in a fall at Kempton in February. He also broke his other arm in a fall at Market Rasen last July. He turns 38 on Saturday.

Geraghty's colleague Davy Russell was on hand at Listowel as part of his role in Jim Bolger's recent Hurling For Cancer Research charity match which raised €160,000 this year.

In its sixth year, Bolger's charity hurling clash in Newbridge attracted around 4,000 people this year and this incentive has now raised over €700,000 for research into cancer.

Una Manning, Bolger's daughter-in-law who has had a huge role in the organisation of the math, and Russell presented the cheque to Emma Hayden from the Irish Cancer Society.

Bolger said: "We enjoyed a phenomenal game of hurling this year with the largest attendance and the highest scoring game since its inception.

"However, the biggest victory of all is raising so much money to support the Irish Cancer Society's cancer research. It is a disease that has unfortunately touched almost every family in Ireland.

"One way we can fight back against the disease is through cancer research, and by discovering new and better ways to diagnose and treat cancer.

"It's heartening to see so many sporting legends take to the pitch and show their support for the work of the Irish Cancer Society."

Meanwhile, Joseph O'Brien brings over three horses to Doncaster today as the William Hill St Leger Festival commences, while his father Aidan runs Sizzling in the Group Two May Hill Stakes. Ryan Moore takes the mount on the filly, rewarded for her consistency when winning at Tipperary.

Detailed, trained by Joseph, tackles Aidan's Wild Irish Rose in the Group Two DFS Park Hill Stakes.

Irish Independent

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