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Fly set for fairyhouse

HURRICANE Fly may make his first appearance of the winter in the Bar One Racing Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse on December 2.

Willie Mullins' crack performer lifted this prize two years ago and was last seen winning the Rabobank Champion Hurdle at Punchestown in April.

However, the County Carlow trainer, who has seven entries, is a long way off firming up plans.

"We have put in a blanket entry, but our season is just getting going now so we don't really have any fixed plans at this stage," said Mullins.

Included in his team are Thousand Stars and the smart mare Tarla, who won at Punchestown recently.

Last year's winner Voler La Vedette is among the 18 entries and is set to reappear at Navan on Sunday.


Her trainer Colm Murphy said: "She makes her seasonal debut at Navan this weekend and then the plan is, as last year, to go to Fairyhouse. She seems in very good order at home."

Noel Meade is looking to run Monksland, a good winner at Down Royal last weekend, on his first outing outside novice company.

"It is definitely Plan A to come to Fairyhouse, and we think that two-and-a-half miles will suit him better than two miles," said the County Meath trainer.

"He will obviously have to go up a gear for this race, but we hope he will."

Meade also has the nine-year-old Go Native, who showed he is well on the comeback trail with a win on the Flat at Galway recently.

Get Me Out Of Here, owned by JP McManus and trained by Jonjo O'Neill, is the only entry from Britain.

Meanwhile, trainer Gordon Elliott could consider the Bar One Royal Bond Novices Hurdle for his impressive bumper winner Don Cossack.

Elliott has the three-time winner in the Grade One at Fairyhouse on December 2 for which there are 27 entries.

"He hasn't had an outing over hurdles in public yet, but the plan is to get him out in the next fortnight and then we can make further decisions from there," said Elliott.

"He has been schooling really well and he has straightened up from last year."


Road To Riches was sold to Gigginstown House Stud after winning a point-to-point in May and looked an exciting prospect with a facile victory in a bumper at Naas last month.

His trainer Noel Meade said: "We don't know if two miles may be too short for him, he has been jumping hurdles well at home, we will make a decision nearer the time as to whether he runs in this."

Clonbanan Lad, trained by Henry de Bromhead, made the best possible start to his hurdling career when winning at Punchestown recently.

Operating, a bumper winner who was behind him in second, also has an entry. His trainer Jessica Harrington has Jezki, who was a recent maiden hurdle winner at Naas.

Willie Mullins has put Cheltenham champion bumper winner Champagne Fever in both this race and the Drinmore Novices' Chase.

"He could go for either of the races," said the County Carlow trainer.

"He has schooled over both codes and we are very happy with him."