Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 26 January 2020

Mullins to consider Melbourne trip for Wicklow brave as Arctic Fire nears return

Mullins has mentioned the Australia showpiece as a possibility. Picture: Seb Daly / Sportsfile
Mullins has mentioned the Australia showpiece as a possibility. Picture: Seb Daly / Sportsfile Sportsdesk

Willie Mullins' Goodwood Cup fourth Wicklow Brave is in the running for a tilt at the Melbourne Cup.

Grade One placed over hurdles, the seven-year-old was an excellent fourth to Big Orange at Goodwood Cup last week, adding to other good efforts on the level that include a third in last year's Long Distance Cup at Ascot.

Mullins has mentioned the Australia showpiece as a possibility and owner Nick Peacock said: "We'll see what the handicapper does. I think we'd like to go to the Melbourne Cup, but we'll have to see what the handicapper does.

"He could probably do with going up by a couple of pounds. With his current rating he'd be right on the edge of getting in, I think, and it would be a big risk to take him there if you're not sure you're going to get a run.

"Willie has mentioned the Lonsdale Cup as a possible next race for him and I suppose the Irish St Leger might be the last opportunity to run if he was going to go to Australia."

Peacock also owns Arctic Fire and reports the Grade One-winning hurdler on course to return from the sidelines. The seven-year-old enjoyed his best campaign last season, winning Navan's Lismullen Hurdle and the Hatton's Grace at Fairyhouse to break his Grade One duck.

He disappointed when stepped up to three miles over Christmas, but chased home stablemate Faugheen in the Irish Champion Hurdle. But, just days after Faugheen was ruled out of the two-mile showpiece, Arctic Fire was found to have chipped a bone in his leg and he missed the rest of the season.

"He appears to be in very good shape, thankfully," Peacock said. "We'll have to see what his legs are like when he starts working again, but I know he looks a million dollars at the moment."

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