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Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Arctic rekindling the old flame as he prepares to set Cork alight

Arctic Fire: is the star on show at Cork
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The flame of Arctic Fire's career was all but extinguished when connections retired the 2015 Champion Hurdle runner-up last year due to injury.

But life in a field did not suit the classy nine-year-old, whose spark was reignited when third at Cork last month after a 441-day absence.

Whether Arctic Fire can ever return to the heights he scaled under the management of champion trainer Willie Mullins remains to be seen, but Denis Cullen, the Wicklow Bloodstock-owned gelding's current handler, believes there’s plenty to look forward to, beginning with Monday's 3m hurdle at Cork (3.05).

Arctic Fire and Paul Townend winning last year's County Hurdle at Cheltenham

"He ran a very good race on his return at Cork," Cullen said. "He’s come on a lot for that and seems to be in very good order. He’s fit and we’re expecting a very big run from him with that effort under his belt.

"Although we’re taking it race by race with him, the long-term plan would be to go chasing, so we’ll just get this out of the way first and then see where we go. We haven’t schooled him over a fence yet."

On the decision to bring Arctic Fire back into training, Cullen added: "He’s only a nine-year-old and, provided he’s happy, we’ll continue with him. Otherwise we could go down the racehorse to riding route."

Amigas aiming for Curragh glory

The highlight of the Curragh's offering on Monday is the 6f (4.15) conditions race where Jessica Harrington's Chicas Amigas will be bidding to return to winning ways.

A winner of her maiden at Dundalk, Chicas Amigas went on to finish runner-up in a Listed contest at Naas in May before contesting the Albany at Royal Ascot and then the Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket.

The 94-rated filly could take some stopping if running to form in the first-time cheekpieces under Colm O'Donoghue, who will be sporting the familiar silks of the It's All About The Girls syndicate.

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Although we’re taking it race by race with him, the long-term plan would be to go chasing
E.W. Terms
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