Willie Mullins indicates Limini could be added to Champion Hurdle field

    Willie Mullins appears increasingly keen to "take a punt" with Limini by supplementing her for the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
  • Monday 27 February 2017
  • News

Willie Mullins appears increasingly keen to "take a punt" with Limini by supplementing her for the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Winner of the inaugural running of the Trull House Stud Mares' Novices' Hurdle at Prestbury Park last March, the six-year-old made a most impressive seasonal reappearance when seeing off former stable companion Apple's Jade at Punchestown last week.

With the last two winners of the Champion Hurdle, Faugheen and Annie Power, sidelined by injury, Mullins is short of a serious contender for the two-mile hurdling crown.

But subject to Vroum Vroum Mag's place being confirmed in the OLBG Mares' Hurdle, Limini could be added to the Champion Hurdle field in a fortnight's time.

Mullins said: "I would say it's 50-50. I had a chat with Rich (Ricci, owner) the other day and we both said we wouldn't chat much more until the morning of the thing (supplementary stage) comes.

"A lot depends on how Vroum Vroum Mag goes between now and then, she's obviously in the Mares' Hurdle.

"I think if she's fine and sparking, we probably might take a punt with Limini.

"I think Vroum Vroum will go for the Mares' Hurdle. On her last performance, that's all I can see her doing."

Annie Power was supplemented for, and won, the Champion Hurdle last year after a comeback success in the same Punchestown contest.

However, Mullins feels it is unfair to compare Limini to Annie Power at this stage.

"She's a little more difficult to train than Annie Power, that's why we didn't run her all season," the trainer added.

"She's a bit like myself - a bit funny to pull out in the morning! She just needs warming up.

"I'm very pleased with how she came out of the race other day and I didn't give her a day off after.

"I think she's a long way to go to be as good as Annie Power, though."

The champion trainer also confirmed Footpad on course for the Champion Hurdle after he filled the runner-up spot in the Irish equivalent at Leopardstown last month.

Wicklow Brave, not seen since finishing down the field in the Melbourne Cup, could also line up, but plans are fluid for last year's third, Nichols Canyon.

" He's had an in-and-out year and I might leave him and go to Punchestown," said Mullins.

"He's in the Champion Hurdle and the Stayers' Hurdle.

"If I changed a few things with him and he started to bounce between now and then, I might bring him, but at the moment I could leave him at home."

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