| 17.4°C Dublin

Milsean and Mag among classy Mullins candidates for Thurles

Close

Whatever Mullins elects to run is likely to face Don Cossack, with Gordon Elliott targeting the Grade Two for his in form chaser.

Whatever Mullins elects to run is likely to face Don Cossack, with Gordon Elliott targeting the Grade Two for his in form chaser.

SPORTSFILE

Whatever Mullins elects to run is likely to face Don Cossack, with Gordon Elliott targeting the Grade Two for his in form chaser.

Willie Mullins' Douvan will vie to validate its position at the head of the Supreme Novices' Hurdle market at Punchestown on Saturday, and the perennial champion trainer might unleash similarly exciting novices Milsean and Vroum Vroum Mag at Thurles next Thursday.

While Douvan - which could face recent Leopardstown winners Blair Perrone (Tony Martin) and Rock On The Moor (Jessica Harrington) in Saturday's two-mile Grade Two - is pushing last weekend's runaway Tolworth Hurdle victor L'Ami Serge for favouritism in the Cheltenham Festival opener, the unexposed Milsean and Vroum Vroum Mag are available at double-figure odds for their respective potential March targets.

Both are versatile sorts with enormous scope, but an entry in the WT O'Grady Novices' Hurdle over two miles and six furlongs at Thurles would suggest that Milsean, successful over the minimum trip on his hurdling bow at Navan, could be targeted at one of the two longer novices' hurdles at the Festival.

Vroum Vroum Mag has been deeply impressive on her two Irish starts over two miles and a furlong and two miles and three furlongs. The French import is another great prospect, and she could further her credentials for a chance to take on the boys in March in Thursday's mares' Grade Two novices' chase.

The north Tipperary venue's showpiece card is headed by the €40,000 Ladbrokes Kinloch Brace Chase, which has attracted a decent entry of 12, including Mullins' sextet of Champagne Fever, Twinlight, Djakadam, Boston Bob, Turban and Ballycasey.

Whatever he elects to run is likely to face Don Cossack, with Gordon Elliott targeting the Grade Two for his in-form chaser.

Mullins is also due to unleash another good prospect shortly in Open Eagle, a facile 12-length winner of the November Handicap on its last start for David O'Meara at Doncaster. The six-year-old son of Montjeu was subsequently bought by the Supreme Racing Club that is synonymous with Mullins' stable.

"I was very impressed with Open Eagle when I saw him on the gallops the other day," the club's representative Steve Massey reported.

"He has schooled well and looks a natural. It seems that the plan is to take him to the Curragh next week for a proper schooling session, then to run him towards the end of the month."

Meanwhile, the new owners of Moon Racer have confirmed that the Easter Fairyhouse winner is being aimed at the Champion Bumper in March.

The Saffron Walden gelding hacked up on its debut for David Pipe at Cheltenham in March, having been bought after its impressive track bow for Dungarvan handler Michael Ronayne last year.

Irish Independent