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Hurricane camp wary of Sol threat

Willie Mullins admits Hurricane Fly could be found wanting for race fitness when he makes his return to action in the Bar One Racing Hatton's Grace Hurdle.

The six-year-old has won four times at Grade One level since arriving from France, but has also had his fair share of injury problems. He edged out the reopposing Solwhit on his latest start at Punchestown in the spring, but Mullins fears placings may be reversed with the latter having had a recent run.

"I don't think the step up to two and a half miles will be a problem, but having his first run of the season against the likes of a race-fit Solwhit might be more of a problem," said Mullins.

"He's in good form and we have to get runs under his belt, so we're letting him take his chance."

Although the race was originally scheduled to take place on November 28, Solwhit's trainer Charles Byrnes does not believe the extra time will have inconvenienced his charge.

Byrnes said: "We've been able to keep him ticking over, so hopefully that won't be a problem. We're glad to get the race on and he is ready to run again. You would hope that he'll be a fitter horse than he was at Punchestown last month.

"Hurricane Fly would look the main danger and they are obviously happy with him to be running him over two and a half miles. If we both run up to our best, it would look between the two of us, but you never know. If we don't run up to our best, the others will be snapping at our heels.

"We'll have to see how he gets on tomorrow before planning his next race. Christmas is not far away now and I don't like looking too far ahead."

Tom Mullins saddled Oscar Dan Dan to win the race last season and the the trainer said: "We think he's 100% and he didn't miss any work really, so we're not too worried on that score. Hurricane Fly and Solwhit are the two obvious ones and we're just hoping that our fellow can put up a good show.

"If you're not in you can't win and we're limited to the places he can run. He won the race last year and he seems to have improved since then. I'd like to think he'll run up to around 155 tomorrow and we're hoping for a good run."

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