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Mikael among RSA entries

Mikael d'Haguenet figures among a quintet of entries for Willie Mullins in the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

The 2009 Neptune Novices' Hurdle winner has failed to fulfil expectations over fences so far, but he could represent the handler, successful in the race with Florida Pearl in 1998, Rule Supreme in 2004 and Cooldine in 2009.

The champion trainer also has Quel Esprit and Blazing Tempo entered, but all three hold alternative engagements at this stage, while Jessies Dream, who profited from the final-fence fall of Mikael D'Haguenet in the Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse earlier in the season, also features among the 51 entries.

Trainer Gordon Elliott said: "He has come out of his last race very well and he had a break for a fortnight and we are training him now for the RSA Chase. That defeat was just one of those days. Timmy (Murphy) said that if they rode the race again, then he would win on him and I'm just putting a line through it and worrying about Cheltenham.

"To be fair the more the ground dries out the better and the trip won't be a problem."

Ante-post favourite Time For Rupert is unbeaten in two starts over fences and is due to step out of novice company for the first time in Saturday's Argento Chase and while there is still a chance the seven-year-old could go for Cheltenham Gold Cup glory, Webber insists the RSA Chase is currently his primary objective in March.

Wymott, Hell's Bay and Wayward Prince are other leading fancies, with a total of 23 entries hailing from Ireland.


From Belfast Telegraph