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Mullins goes 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 on Sunday - but stable companion Mikael D'Haguenet is a notable absentee.

The latter slightly dented his huge reputation with a disappointing display at Leopardstown's Christmas meeting.

Flat Out, on the other hand, 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.

Mikael D'Haguenet's conqueror Realt Dubh has been left in the race by Noel Meade, as has his stablemate Muirhead.

Mr Cracker would be an interesting contender for Michael Hourigan if he lines up.

The six-year-old won by a distance on his latest outing at Limerick over Christmas 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.

"I don't think the trip will be a problem for him if he does go as he ran well over shorter trips over hurdles.

"He won well over Christmas, but I don't think he had much to beat really.

"We need to step him up in class and see how he gets on. He needs to show us a bit more before we can start thinking about Cheltenham."

Noble Prince, Saludos, Shirley Casper, Tramp Stamp and Uncle Tom Cobley complete the possibles.

PA Media