Un De Sceaux: misses out on Champion Hurdle bid on TuesdayPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Mullins: Un De Sceaux definitely out of Festival
WILLIE Mullins, who had hinted strongly in recent weeks that Un De Sceaux would miss the Stan James Champion Hurdle, confirmed on Saturday that the unbeaten six-year-old will not run at the Cheltenham Festival next week.
"Un De Sceaux isn't travelling to Cheltenham and we will wait another while before deciding on end-of-season targets for him," said Ireland's champion trainer.
Mullins, who is 2-5 to be the meeting's top trainer, will be represented in the Champion Hurdle by Hurricane Fly who is seeking to win it for the third time.
Un De Sceaux made it five from five over hurdles when landing the Grade 2 Red Mills Trial Hurdle by 16 lengths at Gowran Park last month. Mullins believes that to throw him into a Grade 1 race at this stage of his career might not be in the best long-term interests of the horse. Bookmakers rated him a 10-1 chance to win the Champion Hurdle.
Dessie Hughes has reported that his Champion Hurdle contender Our Conor has settled in well at the racecourse stables in Cheltenham.
"He went over on Thursday and all is good with him," said Hughes. "He thrived when he got there last year before winning the Triumph, so we decided to send him over again well in advance of his target."