Video: Willie Mullins previews his Punchestown team and another French odyssey for Un De Sceaux
Willie Mullins is not ruling out the prospect of Un De Sceaux been sent over fences next season ahead of his second trip to Auteuil this weekend.
The dual French bumper winner has made a huge impression since making his debut for the champion trainer in February of last year, barely coming off the bridle in his first five starts over hurdles.
Plenty hoped to see the six-year-old test his powers in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham last month, but Mullins has been keen to take things steadily with his free-going youngster, keeping away from brilliant stable companion Hurricane Fly.
Instead of heading to Prestbury Park, Un De Sceaux crossed the Channel and made it eight victories from as many starts in Auteuil's Prix Hypothese, just holding on from French star Gemix.
Mullins considered letting Un De Sceaux line up in next week's Racing Post Champion Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival, but eventually decided to head back to Paris for a second clash with Gemix in Saturday's Prix Leon Rambaud.
Stable jockey Ruby Walsh, sidelined by injury since suffering a heavy fall at Cheltenham, returns to the saddle this weekend.
"Un De Sceaux is not the easiest of horses to ride, but Ruby looks fit and well riding out at home and we're looking forward to it," Mullins told Irish Horse TV.
"If he didn't (run in France) he'd have had to take on Hurricane Fly and Jezki and we've time enough for all that.
"And indeed, the way he jumped the French hurdles, who knows whether he'll go jumping fences next year or come back over hurdles?
"We'll see how he gets on at this meeting first."
Willie Mullins has a stellar team heading to Punchestown next week and he previews all their chances in the video above.
Video courtesy of Irish Horse TV