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Mullins facing Five battle

Willie Mullins admits he is facing a race against time to have Fiveforthree at concert pitch for the Cheltenham Festival.

The 2008 Ballymore Properties Novice Hurdle winner has not run since landing the Ladbrokes.com World Series Hurdle at Punchestown in April 2009, but is now back in full training.

"He did his first bit of work the other day and has done two or three pieces of fast work now and I don't know if he's going to go chasing or not yet," Mullins told At The Races.

"We can't even school on this ground the way it is at home. He's a good jumper but we might have to review the situation over Christmas and give him another season over hurdles.

"We had intended at the start of the season to go chasing. However, here we are at Christmas and you have to make the most of your novice year.

"If you want to go to Cheltenham, time is running out, but there are lots of chases to be won over there and maybe with that's what we want to do. Maybe we'll start off in a beginners chase, hopefully he'll stay sound and then we can try to get a few more and skip Cheltenham.

"If you are going to Cheltenham you have to prepare for it and that time is running out."

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