Belfast Telegraph

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Fly set to break new ground

Hurricane Fly is set to tackle three miles for the first time in the Ladbrokes World Series Hurdle at Punchestown next week.

Connections are keen to step the record-breaking Grade One winner up in trip and trainer Willie Mullins admitted he has had the French Champion Hurdle at Auteuil in mind for him for some time, but has decided against it so far.

"There's a good chance (of running in the World Series Hurdle)," Mullins told At The Races.

"We've been discussing it the last few days at home.

"It is something the owners think they might go for. It's a real runner at the moment.

"Remember he won over two and a half miles on heavy ground as a four-year-old in France.

"We would think over the years that three miles wouldn't be any problem. It just depends on his temperament on the day. He can be keen if it's a slow-run race.

"I've been dying to go for the French Champion Hurdle for the last few years, but when you have a horse like that you try and mind him maybe a little bit more than the others.

"I think the trip is no problem and I'm seriously coming round to running him in this."

Among Hurricane's Fly likely rivals is Lieutenant Colonel, winner of the Hatton's Grace and Christmas Hurdle this term.

However, the Sandra Hughes-trained six-year-old is on a retrieval mission after being well beaten in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at Cheltenham.

"Lieutenant Colonel will hopefully run in the Ladbrokes World Series Hurdle," said Eddie O'Leary, racing manager for owners Gigginstown House Stud.

"We put cheekpieces on Lieutenant Colonel at Cheltenham and he was too free with those.

"We made a mistake doing that and he obviously won't wear them at Punchestown.

"Dedigout is also entered but he would only go there if the going was heavier than soft, he wouldn't go otherwise."


From Belfast Telegraph