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Mulholland is gearing up for Cheltenham Festival bid

By Frank Brownlow

Neil Mulholland will attempt to put down a marker for the Cheltenham Festival when The Young Master and Shantou Village go for glory at the Cotswolds venue on Saturday.

The Ulster trainer, now based near Bath, runs the pair in the two feature races, Shantou Village in the Neptune Investment Management Novices Hurdle and The Young Master in the Cleeve Hurdle.

Another couple of smart novices have been confirmed for the former contest in the shape of Charmix and Chef D'ouevre.

Harry Fry's youngster Charmix adds his name to the likes of Alan King's Yanworth and several other quality types heading for the Grade Two.

Despite Ben Pauling choosing to head to Doncaster with Barters Hill, there still looks likely to be a shake-up in the betting for the Festival event which carries the same name.

Charmix was an easy winner at Newbury last time out and prior to that he had run Betfair Hurdle favourite Modus very close.

"The plan is for Charmix to go to Cheltenham on Saturday," confirmed Fry.

"We considered going for the Tolworth but his last run at Newbury was a step up in trip and that was his most impressive performance."

Warren Greatrex has also confirmed Chef D'ouevre, a 28-length winner at Lingfield.

"He's going to go to Cheltenham. I entered him at Doncaster as well, but it looks like the ground will be heavy at Cheltenham and that might suit him better."

Stuart Crawford is pondering whether to give Legacy Gold her first run for 22 months in the Mares Hurdle at Doncaster on Saturday.

The eight-year-old, owned by Roger Brookhouse, won all her three bumpers when trained by Crawford before joining David Pipe's stable, for whom she won three times over hurdles.

However, Legacy Gold - a 33-1 chance for the Mares Hurdle at Cheltenham in March - has not run since finishing a creditable fourth to Mulholland's Carole's Destrier in a Kempton handicap hurdle in March 2014.

She has now returned to Crawford - based just outside Larne - who is looking forward to getting her back on the track.

"She's had her problems and her setbacks and we haven't had her that long. We'll try to get a run under her belt and take it from there," Crawford said.

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