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Ulster trainer Mulholland in quest for Festival glory

By Keith Hamer

Ulster trainer Neil Mulholland intends to give The Druids Nephew a run over hurdles before preparing him for the Cheltenham Festival in March.

The Festival Handicap Chase, run last season as the Baylis & Harding Affordable Luxury Handicap Chase, over an extended three miles on the opening afternoon of the four-day feast, is the target for the seven-year-old.

Mulholland, from Glenavy but now based in Wiltshire, wants to protect his rating as The Druids Nephew has shown good form this season, running Sam Winner to a length and a half at Cheltenham and finishing seventh in the Hennessy Gold Cup.

"He's very good. He travelled very well in the Hennessy and had a good run at Cheltenham a fortnight before that," said Mulholland.

"He'll probably go for something like the Cleeve Hurdle.

"He's likely to have one run over hurdles before Cheltenham and then he's going to go for the Festival Handicap Chase on the first day.

"We think he can be competitive," added Mulholland.

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