/ Racing

Hurricane Fly set for Leopardstown return

Updated: Thursday, 05 Jan 2012 20:14

Hurricane Fly - Will now look to have only one run before he defends his hurdling crown
Hurricane Fly - Will now look to have only one run before he defends his hurdling crown

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Following a work out at Leopardstown on Thursday, Hurricane Fly looks set to return to action in the Irish Champion Hurdle on 29 January.

The decision was made following a work out at Leopardstown this afternoon.

Last year's Champion Hurdler at Cheltenham was a doubt to defend his crown in March, after missing the entire National Hunt season so far.

Hurricane Fly's trainer Willie Mullins was happy with the work undertaken at the Foxrock venue, where his nephew Emmet Mullins was in the saddle.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport's Eamon Horan, Mullins said: "It was great that Leopardstown let us use the venue. We worked over a mile and five, where Emmet giving him a squeeze two furlongs out, with the intention of getting to the lead horse.

"When he got to the front he just pulled away. It’s the first bit of serious work that I have been happy with this season. Emmet was also satisfied with the spin.

As to why Hurricane Fly missed his last two intended runs, Mullins added: "He just wasn’t firing and I wasn’t happy with his efforts all season. After watching him today, I feel he is ready for action now.

"Our intention is to aim for the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown. It’s a big weekend of racing with the Boylesports Hurdle, and hopefully Hurricane will stay fine until then.

"The engine looks to be firing again, so all our focus, for now, will be on the 29th.

"After that, we can look to Cheltenham. There is a six-week gap from the Irish Champion to the Festival and that time frame would suit us in preparing Hurricane Fly to defend his crown in mid-March."

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