Willie Mullins is ready to unleash some of his big guns this weekend as the jumps seasons continues to get into full swing.
The trainer’s hopes are headed by Faugheen as the Cheltenham and Punchestown winner makes his eagerly-awaited reappearance in the Coral Hurdle at Ascot on Saturday.
Ballycasey is set to miss the Amlin 1965 Chase there and stay nearer home for the Race That Stops A County ‘Thyestes Chase Jan 22nd’ Chase at Gowran the same day.
Vautour, another who was successful in novice hurdles at Cheltenham and Punchestown, is to make his fencing debut in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase at Navan on Sunday.
“Faugheen runs at Ascot and hopefully he’s the horse that everyone says he is,” said Mullins.
“Vautour will go to Navan on Sunday.
“Turban will go for the graduation chase at Haydock (tomorrow) but Ballycasey will probably go to Gowran on Saturday instead of travelling over.”
Mullins’ stable jockey Ruby Walsh confirmed he will be at Ascot on Saturday.
“We have Vautour, Faugheen, a couple of good ones at Gowran Park as well on Saturday. Obviously, I’ll be at Ascot,” he told At The Races: “
“We have a good team for the weekend.”
John Quinn is siding with a trip to Haydock for the exciting Aurore D’Estruval this weekend.
The four-year-old built on the promise of her inaugural season when hacking up by 10 lengths on her reappearance at Wetherby and now a potential clash with The New One in the Betfair Price Rush Hurdle beckons.
The ex-French filly also holds an entry in the Coral Hurdle at Ascot, where she would potentially meet Willie Mullins’ dual Grade One winner Faugheen, but she is set to head to Merseyside instead.
“At the moment we are leaning towards Haydock,” said Quinn.
“She was very visually impressive at Wetherby and we were particularly pleased with her before the race.”
Should Quinn elect to bypass this weekend altogether, Aurore D’Estruval also holds an engagement in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle on Saturday week.