Mullins ready to unleash Un De Sceaux in Irish Arkle at Leopardstown

Stable companion Vautour set to line up instead in this weekend’s Killiney Novice Chase

Trainer Willie Mullins:  “We’ll see what happens in the next couple of days, but I think Vautour will go on Sunday. I’m keen to run.” Photo:  David Davies/PA

Trainer Willie Mullins: “We’ll see what happens in the next couple of days, but I think Vautour will go on Sunday. I’m keen to run.” Photo: David Davies/PA

 

Willie Mullins has revealed there is a “good possibility” Un De Sceaux will test the water at the highest level for the first time in the Frank Ward Solicitors Arkle Novice Chase at Leopardstown on Sunday week.

Unbeaten in seven starts over hurdles last season, the seven-year-old came to grief when long odds-on for his chasing debut at Thurles in late November, but righted that wrong with a bold display from the front at Fairyhouse last month.

Mullins dominates the ante-post betting for the Arkle Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival, with Un De Sceaux the market leader ahead of stable companion Vautour, last season’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner.

Bounce back

Asked whether Vautour’s intended weekend participation mean Un De Sceaux would run in the Arkle at Leopardstown, the champion trainer said: “I think that’s a good possibility.”

Ante-post favourite Faugheen heads 23 entries for the Stan James Champion Hurdle, the highlight on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival on March 10.

The Mullins-trained seven-year-old is the even-money favourite with the sponsors after extending his unbeaten record in the Grade One Christmas Hurdle at Kempton Park on December 26.

Among Mullins’ six other entries is Hurricane Fly, the winner in 2011 and 2013.

The 12-strong Irish-trained entry also features last season’s JCB Triumph Hurdle winner Tiger Roll and Kitten Rock from Edward O’Grady’s stable. “I have been pleased with Kitten Rock and the plan is to run him in the Limestone Lad Hurdle at Naas on Saturday,” said O’Grady.

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