Mullins keeps options open for Champagne Fever


RACING:Willie Mullins is pondering options for his outstanding bumper champion Champagne Fever who has been given Grade One entries over both hurdles and fences at Fairyhouse’s premier jumps meeting at the start of next month.

Champagne Fever, winner of the top bumper races at both Cheltenham and Punchestown last season, has yet to appear this term but has been entered for the Bar One Royal Novice Hurdle and also the Drinmore Chase.

If the grey star goes down the hurdling route, it could mean a clash with the other exciting bumper graduate, Don Cossack, while a total of 32 entries were left in the Drinmore at yesterday’s forfeit stage.

“He could go for either of the races,” said Mullins yesterday. “He has schooled over both codes and we are very happy with him.”

Don Cossack’s trainer Gordon Elliott reported: “He hasn’t had an outing over hurdles in public yet, but the plan is to get him out in the next fortnight and then we can make further decisions from there. He has been schooling really well and he has straightened up from last year.”

The centrepiece of Fairyhouse’s pre-Christmas triple Grade One card is the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle and the last two winners, Hurricane Fly and Voler La Vedette, remain in contention to appear in the two and a half mile contest again.

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