Ladbroke target for Queens
Tom Mullins is considering a valuable challenge across the Irish Sea later this month for the progressive King Of Queens.
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His lightly-raced seven-year-old is in the shake-up for the Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot on December 22.
He made it two from two over hurdles this season with a fine performance at Fairyhouse last Saturday, and Mullins said: "At the moment, King Of Queens is likely to run in the Ladbroke but we will have a look at the weights and see then. I am very pleased with how he has come out of his race at Fairyhouse and he seems very well.
"He made the running at Fairyhouse but we wouldn't do that in Ascot as there will be a faster pace going on there. I think the Ladbroke will really suit him and so will better ground.
"He has certainly surprised me with how well he has come back from injury. He had to have long enough off because of tendon injures but maybe that's the key.
"He is very well bred and hopefully he will keep improving. I think he'll be up to Graded company all right but where we go after that, I don't know."
Nicky Henderson, who has won the race three times, has six 48 entries in Darlan, Cash And Go, Lyvius, Petit Robin, Hammersly Lake and First In The Queue.
Dermot Weld's Grade One winning juvenile hurdle Hisaabaat is one of 11 interesting Irish challengers along with Triumph Hurdle fifth Wingtips, Cause Of Causes, Discoteca, Shrapnel and Il Fenomeno.
Recent Cheltenham winner Olofi is another British contender, as are Cotton Mill and Snap Tie, with Dermot Weld's Hisaabaat, Balder Succes and Lyvius currently the three 8-1 co-favourites with the sponsors.
The entries were out for the Long Walk Hurdle on the same card, with Big Buck's the clear star of the 13.
Paul Nicholls' gelding is unbeaten in 18 starts over hurdles, including the last three Long Walks, and his biggest test could come from his stablemate Prospect Wells, this year's Ladbrokes World Hurdle third Smad Place and Jonjo O'Neill's Get Me Out Of Here.