Mullins sends Oscar Dan Dan to make Long Walk at Ascot
Published 02/12/2010 | 05:00
Tom Mullins is prepared to send stayer Oscar Dan Dan into battle with Big Buck's in the £100,000 Grade One BGC Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot on December 18.
Oscar Dan Dan has proved himself over three miles and Mullins said he would to see his charge take his chance in the Ascot showpiece.
"There is not a lot for him here in Ireland and we thought we would keep our options open by popping him in there and taking a look at the race," said the trainer.
"It's definitely on the cards as the ground at Ascot is always fairly nice before Christmas. We were very pleased with his win in the Lismullen and we think if everything goes well he might have his best year yet.
"Three miles is not a problem for him at all and there might even be a bit of improvement in him over the trip. He ran well over the distance last spring at Punchestown but he was never quite right after he ran at Gowran in January."
Big Buck's is the headline act among the 18 entries, with Paul Nicholls' seven-year-old unbeaten since returning to hurdles after the 2008 Hennessy. Last season's World Hurdle winner will be bidding for a second straight victory in the Grade One after winning a rearranged running at Newbury last year.
Big Buck's may come against his stablemate Celestial Halo, which is due to return to timber after having failed to shine in two starts over fences this season. The Galileo gelding has never raced over further than two and a half miles.
Others with the race on their agenda include Nicky Henderson's classy Punchestowns. Karabak, Restless Harry and David Pipe's Grands Crus are also engaged.
Meanwhile, Limerick's Laura Barry claimed the first victory of her fledgling career on the all-weather at Kempton yesterday.
Barry moved to Richard Fahey three months ago and the 18-year-old was handed the mount on Custard Cream Kid in the Hands And Heels Apprentice Series Handicap. Barry showed strength to get the 7/1 shot up late to shade Djalalabad and Devon Diva by a head and a short head respectively.
"That's my first winner from six rides, although I was pony racing in Ireland for years and I clocked up about 100 winners there," said Barry. "I'm really enjoying it. Mr Fahey has been good to me."