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Fly fear for Cheltenham

Willie Mullins admits a trip to the Cheltenham Festival is "looking doubtful" for Hurricane Fly as he continues to recover from injury.

The five-year-old went into the summer as the ante-post favourite for the Champion Hurdle but suffered a surprise reverse on his only start this campaign when third to Solwhit.

He was subsequently found to be suffering an injury to a suspensory ligament.

"He is just all right and progress is slow," said the Co Carlow handler.

"Cheltenham is looking doubtful at this stage."

His stable companion Mikael D'Haguenet has still to see a racecourse this season.

"There are still no plans for Mikael and he won't be running within the next fortnight, I wouldn't have thought," Mullins added.


On a brighter note, Cousin Vinny is likely to continue his education over fences in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Beginners Chase at Fairyhouse on Sunday.

"He's in good form and has just worked this morning," the trainer added.

"We were thinking about going straight to the Irish Arkle with him but he seems well and he'll probably run at the weekend instead."

The feature of Fairyhouse's card is the Grade Two Normans Grove Chase.

Mullins currently has Golden Silver, Scotsirish and Snowy Morning engaged but has yet to finalise running plans.

The champion trainer also had news on smart chaser Barker, who has been off the track since unseating his rider in the John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase.

"Barker had a few easy weeks after Punchestown as we found he had suffered a stress fracture," Mullins continued. "There are no targets for him at the moment as we just want to get him back to full fitness."

Meanwhile, Arthur Moore is expecting a bold display from Mansony in the Normans Grove Chase at Fairyhouse.

The 11-year-old landed this Grade Two contest last winter and Moore reports Mansony to be cherry ripe for a repeat bid.

"He's in good form and probably needed his run at Leopardstown," said the Naas handler.

"It was more or less his first real run of the season. We are hopeful of a good run from him on Sunday."