Brave joins Warrior as Mullins bids for Belmont glory
Punchestown Champion Hurdle winner Wicklow Brave will join Clondaw Warrior in the Belmont Gold Cup on June 9, trainer Willie Mullins has revealed.
Last year's Irish St Leger winner confirmed himself a dual-purpose star under Patrick Mullins at Punchestown, a victory that proved instrumental in Mullins’ dramatic but ultimately successful defence of the trainers’ championship.
Mullins has booked Javier Castellano to ride Wicklow Brave in the $400,000 Grade 3 event at Belmont.
He said on Monday: “Wicklow Brave will join Clondaw Warrior in New York. We don't have a jockey booked for Clondaw Warrior, but Javier Castellano will ride Wicklow Brave. Both are very well and it looks a good target for them.”
Mullins has been increasing his presence at the major Flat fixtures over the past few seasons.
Max Dynamite carried Rich and Susannah Ricci's famous pink and green silks to success in the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup at York before finishing a narrow second in the 2015 Melbourne Cup and earning a cheque in excess of €500,000 for his efforts.
The seven-year-old has run just twice since and has not been seen since finishing down the field in the Gold Cup last season, but Mullins is happy with how he is progressing and is not ruling out a return to the royal meeting.
He said: “Max Dynamite is coming along nicely and we're just concentrating on building up his fitness before pencilling him in to run somewhere. He could run in the Ascot Gold Cup, but we'd like to get a run into him beforehand.”
Arctic Fire set to miss Ascot
Mullins identified Renneti and Thomas Hobson as others who could represent him in the major staying handicaps this season, but Arctic Fire may sidestep Ascot.
He added: “Renneti has lots of options, including the Ebor and races at Royal Ascot and I think he could be a nice type for staying handicaps.
"Thomas Hobson is equally as exciting and we'll be keeping him on the go as well, but we might skip Ascot with Arctic Fire.”