Willie Mullins has 10th Hennessy Gold Cup in sights

Champion trainer confirmed Rubi Ball is on target for the Leopardstown highlight

As if Hurricane Fly’s Irish Champion Hurdle four-in-a- row isn’t enough,

Willie Mullins

now has a remarkable 10th

Hennessy Gold Cup in his sights with the champion trainer confirming the ex-French superstar Rubi Ball is on target for the Leopardstown highlight in two weeks time.


The former triple-Grade One winner at Auteuil has run twice for Mullins since coming to Ireland, improving dramatically for his Thurles debut over hurdles to finish third to Bobs Worth in the Lexus over Christmas.

“The Hennessy is the target. He’s been in good form since the last day and there have been no negatives,” said the champion trainer. “I can’t see the ground drying up too much so that shouldn’t be an issue.”

Mullins has dominated the Hennessy, winning the prestigious chase nine times in the last 15 years. Having scored a four-in-a-row between 1999 and 2002, he is on course to do the same this year on the back of Kempes (2011), Quel Esprit (2012) and Sire Des Champs (2013.)

Barry Connell has bought the leading hunter-chaser Mossey Joe for €193,000 and will send him to trainer Enda Bolger to be prepared for the Foxhunters in March. The horse was sold at Cheltenham over the weekend following a dispute between his previous owners.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column