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Mullins thrilled with star duo


Mikael D'Haguenet

Mikael D'Haguenet

Mikael D'Haguenet

Willie Mullins expressed delight after Mikael D'Haguenet and Hurricane Fly came through a racecourse gallop with flying colours.

Mikael D'Haguenet has been sidelined since the spring of 2009 when he won Grade One novice hurdles at the Cheltenham and Punchestown Festivals.

He delighted connections in a schooling session over fences after racing at Punchestown and will soon soon begin a novice chase campaign, with the Bar One Racing Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse on Sunday week a possible starting point.

"Mikael rode out on Monday morning and seems fine, so we're very pleased," said Mullins.

"He went very well and Paul (Townend) was thrilled with the way he jumped, so I was very happy. He's entered in the Drinmore and that is an option at this stage."

Hurricane Fly has also had some minor injury problems and was restricted to just two starts during last season, in which he signed off with an impressive display in Punchestown's Rabobank Champion Hurdle.

Mullins had initially targeted Sunday's Dobbins & Madigans at Punchestown Hurdle as his comeback target, but instead worked his charge after racing.

On what looks set to be a crucial day for the trainer, Hurricane Fly could join Mikael D'Haguenet at Fairyhouse and contest the Bar One Racing Hatton's Grace Hurdle over two and a half miles.

Mullins continued: "Hurricane worked on the flat and I was pleased with him as well, but I'm happy enough I didn't run him. I think that would have sent my fellow backwards rather than forwards, so I'm happy enough just to have gone for a gallop.

"The Hatton's Grace is the plan with him at the moment and the trip shouldn't be a problem. As a four-year-old in France he was running over nearly two and a half miles."