Mullins - Major test for Hurricane
Willie Mullins concedes Hurricane Fly faces a "hell of a test" in the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown on Sunday.
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It emerged on Friday that the brilliant 10-year-old had worked badly by his exalted standards during the week, with a bruised foot emerging as the reason.
The 18-times Grade One winner is reportedly back on track, but the scare, combined with big performances expected from Jezki and Our Conor, has Mullins apprehensive as Hurricane Fly looks to emulate Istabraq with four victories in the Irish Champion.
He said: "He put in a middling bit of work the other day, which he has never done before.
"We couldn't find anything wrong with him for a good while afterwards, but the girl that looks after him noticed he seemed to be feeling a leg and we discovered a little bruise.
"We took off the shoe, cleaned it and put it in a poultice overnight.
"It's a concern, although he appears to be in good form now.
"It's going to be a hell of a test for him."
Dessie Hughes is relishing another crack at Hurricane Fly with Our Conor, having been third to the two-mile king in the Ryanair Hurdle at Leopardstown over Christmas.
Hughes expects the Triumph Hurdle hero to have come forward from the run, his first over hurdles since Cheltenham last March, with softening ground an added bonus.
Hughes said: "It's perfect ground for him, I can't wait.
"Captain Cee Bee will make it I'd imagine and Jezki wants a fast pace, we'll follow those two.
"He should be a bit better than he was the last day."