Smashing chance for Mullins
Published 04/02/2014 | 20:02
Willie Mullins plans to run Smashing in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on Saturday.
The 130,000 euro French recruit is unbeaten in two starts for Ireland's champion trainer, following up an impressive Fairyhouse success with a similarly dominant display at Limerick on Boxing Day.
The five-year-old is set to travel to Britain for this weekend's valuable handicap, with Andrew Lynch, retained rider for owners Ann and Alan Potts, due to take the ride.
Mullins said: "We were happy with how he worked this morning and he is an intended runner at Newbury on Saturday.
"I would imagine Andrew Lynch will travel over to ride and hopefully the conditions should be fine for him."
Dr Richard Newland's Act Of Kalanisi will be one of the outsiders for the extended two-mile contest and the trainer feels his charge may be in the grip of the handicapper.
However, while many of the major contenders want the ground to dry up, Newland would be quite happy for the going to be barely raceable as those conditions bring out the best in his charge.
Since reverting to two miles earlier this season, Act Of Kalanisi has racked up wins at Ffos Las and Leicester and ran in the Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock last month when he unseated Tony McCoy.
"He's in good form and is definitely an intended runner, but it looks a tough race," said Newland.
"He's high up in the weights for what he has actually achieved, I think. I'm not sure he's good enough for a race like this off the mark he currently has.
"We could have really done with him standing up at Haydock as he would have either picked up some nice prize money or been dropped a few pounds. I think he'd have been in the three.
"He stays further than two miles but I think he's at his best over two miles in bad ground, that seems to bring out the best in him.
"The one thing in his favour this weekend will be the ground."