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Mullins weighs up Ladbroke tilt

TOM MULLINS is considering a valuable challenge across the Irish Sea later this month for the progressive King Of Queens.

His lightly raced seven-year-old is in the shake-up for the Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot on December 22.

He made it two from two over hurdles this season with a fine performance at Fairyhouse last Saturday, and Mullins said: "At the moment, King Of Queens is likely to run in the Ladbroke but we will have a look at the weights and see then.

"He made the running at Fairyhouse but we wouldn't do that in Ascot as there will be a faster pace. I think the Ladbroke will really suit him.

"He has certainly surprised me with how well he has come back from injury. He had to have long enough off because of tendon injures but maybe that's the key."

Dermot Weld's Grade One juvenile hurdle winner Hisaabaat is one of 11 interesting Irish challengers along with Triumph Hurdle fifth Wingtips, Cause Of Causes, Discoteca, Shrapnel and Il Fenomeno.

Trainer Oliver Sherwood warned he feels like "packing it up" after being fined £3,000 over the running and riding of Furrows in the bet365.com Novices' Chase at Hereford.

Jockey Leighton Aspell was hit with a 14-day ban (December 19-22, 26-31, January 1-4) while the horse was suspended from running for 40 days.

The local stewards felt Furrows (20-1) appeared to be tenderly handled when finishing fourth on his debut over fences behind Vulcanite, beaten a total of 11 and three-quarter lengths.

The stewards found Sherwood guilty of schooling/conditioning the horse on the racecourse. He said: "I'm absolutely mortified. I've never been accused of anything in 27 years of training."


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