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Cautious Mullins happy with Fly

Willie Mullins is refusing to look beyond the BHP Insurances Irish Champion Hurdle with his brilliant performer Hurricane Fly.

The seven-year-old has missed out on a trip to the Cheltenham Festival for the last two seasons but the current campaign could not have gone better as he beat Solwhit in the Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse and the Festival Hurdle at Leopardstown.

"He's been grand since his last run, which we were delighted with. Hopefully he just stays sound and he can maintain the form he's been showing," said Mullins.

"I'm not looking beyond Sunday with him. I'm very happy with him at the moment."

Charles Byrnes believes Hurricane Fly would have to have an off-day for Solwhit to turn the tables on his old rival and would be quite happy to claim the runner-up spot once again.

The County Limerick trainer said: "He's come out of his last race very well and he's in great form. We are limited where we can go with him at this time of year so we've decided to let him take his chance.

"We're not expecting to beat Hurricane Fly, but we'd be very happy to come home second. From what I can see Hurricane Fly seems to be settling better in his races, so obviously he's a lot stronger. He seems to be the real deal.

"One never knows if Hurricane Fly has an off-day. That's the main reason why you have to take your chance."

Colm Murphy's talented mare Voler La Vedette was third behind the big two over Christmas and the County Wexford handler would be happy with minor honours again.

He said: "She seems in good form, so hopefully all goes well. Hurricane Fly is going to be very hard to beat, but if we can run into a bit of prize money we'll be happy enough with her. She gets the mares' allowance, which hopefully will help her."


From Belfast Telegraph