Black Hercules set to return in Kinloch Brae Chase after year's absence
Black Hercules, winner of the JLT Novices' Chase at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival, is set to return to action in the Horse & Jockey Kinloch Brae Chase at Thurles on Sunday.
The Willie Mullins-trained nine-year-old, a three-time winner over fences, has not run since finishing third behind Sizing John in the same 2m4f Grade 3 event – the biggest chase of the year at the County Tipperary track – 12 months ago.
Mullins said on Wednesday: "Black Hercules had a hold-up and had to miss the rest of last season. We gave him plenty of time. But we're happy with him now and he's ready to start back. The plan is to run him on Sunday. We might also run Ballycasey or American Tom in the same race."
Owned by Andrea and Graham Wylie, Black Hercules, who beat Bristol De Mai by three lengths in the JLT two years ago, is entered for the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase and Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham.
The 12 entries for Sunday's race also include the Henry de Bromhead-trained Sub Lieutenant, who finished third in the race last year.
On his most recent start, the nine-year-old finished third behind Sizing John and Djakadam in the Grade 1 John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punchestown last month.
Sub Lieutenant is one of five Gigginstown House Stud entries. Gigginstown, who have won the race twice with Don Cossack – also have the Gordon Elliott-trained pair Ball D'Arc and A Toi Phil, and the Mouse Morris-trained Alpha Des Obeaux and Nambour.
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