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Mullins flat out for Arkle

Willie Mullins has left both Flat Out and Quel Esprit in Sunday's Frank Ward Solicitors Arkle Novice Chase at Leopardstown.

Flat Out made a most impressive chasing debut at Punchestown earlier this month, while Quel Esprit is also one from one over fences having struck gold at Limerick in November.

Realt Dubh has been left in by Noel Meade, as has his stablemate Muirhead, while Mr Cracker would be an interesting contender for Michael Hourigan if he lines up.

The six-year-old won easily on his latest outing at Limerick, but Hourigan admits he would have more on his plate this weekend.

"It's possible he'll run, but we haven't decided for sure yet," said Hourigan. "We need to step him up in class. He needs to show us a bit more before we can start thinking about Cheltenham."

Meanwhile, Irish Independent Arkle hope Finian's Rainbow puts his unbeaten record over fences on the line against just rivals at Newbury today.

Nicky Henderson's eight-year-old made a most impressive start to his chasing career at the track in November and most bookies have him as their joint-favourite alongside Ghizao for the Arkle at Cheltenham in March.

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