Saturday 20 January 2018

Hatton's Grace trip no bother to Fly -- Mullins

Hurricane Fly heads 13 five-day entries for the Bar One Racing Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse on Sunday.

Winner of the Rabobank Champion Hurdle at Punchestown on his last start in April, all eyes will be on Willie Mullins' giant six-year-old. Mullins has another possible in Mourad, while his brother Tom has left in last year's winner Oscar Dan Dan and Charles Byrnes plans to run Solwhit.

Byrnes' charge made a winning return in Punchestown's Morgiana Hurdle, and the respective second and third that day, Colm Murphy's Voler La Vedette and the Noel Meade-trained Donnas Palm, could renew rivalry.

Meade also has Aitmatov, with Jumbo Rio, Luska Lad, On The Way Out, Powerstation, Shinrock Paddy and Summit Meeting completing a quality line-up.

This will be Hurricane Fly's first attempt at two-and-a-half miles since arriving in Ireland, but the champion trainer is unfazed by that prospect.

"The trip shouldn't be a problem," said Mullins. "As a four-year-old in France, he was running over two and a half miles."

Mullins' Mikael D'Haguenet could make his Irish fencing debut in the Drinmore Novices' Chase on the same afternoon. The six-year-old, which has been sidelined since May 2009, is among 10 acceptors for the two-and-a-half-mile Grade One contest.

Irish Independent

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