Sport Horse Racing

Thursday 5 December 2019

Mullins optimistic over Kemboy return

Trainer Willie Mullins. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Trainer Willie Mullins. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

Willie Mullins is hopeful that a resolution will be found "in the next day or so" which will allow Gold Cup contender Kemboy to begin his preparation for the Cheltenham blue riband.

Mullins expects to make entries for the Punchestown Gold Cup winner this week after revealing that negotiations over the issues that have prevented him from making plans look set to be resolved.

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Kemboy was slated to make his seasonal debut at Down Royal earlier this month but the seven-year-old is one of several horses owned by Supreme Horse Racing Club, who are currently mired in controversy.

Horses under their ownership have been barred from running by Horse Racing Ireland since last month but the Closutton maestro is confident that Kemboy will be hitting the track again in the near future.

"I know there's a lot of behind-the-scenes work going on. From what I can gather, that could all be sorted in the next day or so. It is very close to being resolved," Mullins said.

The Grade One Savills Chase over Christmas at Leopardstown is his intended target and Mullins is optimistic that he will be eligible for tomorrow's entry deadline.

"We are all trying to make that deadline and at the moment I would say that looks good," Mullins said.

Another with an intended Christmas target is Albert Bartlett Hurdle winner Minella Indo after Henry de Bromhead's charge made a satisfactory chasing debut over 2m4f when chasing home Laurina at Gowran Park on Saturday.

"He jumped great but he's a three-miler and we'll go for the Grade One in Leopardstown at Christmas. You don't like to see your horses beaten but he was beaten by a very good mare probably over an inadequate trip. It turned into a bit of sprint but I loved the way he jumped all the way."

Meanwhile, dual Champion Hurdle winner Buveur D'air could face six rivals - including Philip Kirby's talented mare Lady Buttons - as Nicky Henderson's charge bids for a third victory in Saturday's Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle.

Elsewhere, Choungaya will be hard beaten in today's Rated Novice Chase (2.40) at Punchestown after Joseph O'Brien's charge made a promising fencing debut earlier this month.

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