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Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

Mullins unleashes powerful Auteuil army but Walsh remains sidelined with injury

Djakadam (Jason Dear) steps out at Closutton
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Willie Mullins has finalised his French team for this weekend's Auteuil action with stable stalwart Djakadam set to tackle Sunday's Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris, but he will not have the assistance of Ruby Walsh.

Walsh, who has not ridden since his RSA Chase fall from Al Boum Photo which aggravated the same area where he broke his leg earlier in the season, was hoping to return in time for the French trip but Mullins revealed David Mullins will ride Djakadam. 

The trainer said: "Ruby won't be riding in France so David will be on Djakadam. He seems in good form at home and we're looking forward to running him in the race." 

The two-day Auteuil meeting also now stages the Grande Course de Haies (French Champion Hurdle) and the Prix Alain du Breil (Juvenile Hurdle), both of which were previously held in June. 

Killultagh Vic (left) makes a mistake before falling at the last in the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown

Mullins hopes to have a four-strong team for the Grande Course de Haies on Sunday, with Killultagh Vic and Yorkhill set to try to restore their reputations following disappointing campaigns last season. 

"The plan is to run four in the Champion Hurdle," said Mullins. "Killultagh Vic definitely runs, as does Yorkhill and Coquin Mans. Bapaume is my other one for that race." 

The Prix Alain du Breil, staged on Saturday, will have a strong Mullins presence too as Ireland's champion trainer is set to launch a three-pronged attack on the Grade 1. 

Mullins said: "We'll run three in the Prix Alain du Breil. Mr Adjudicator, who ran so well to finish second in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham will travel over for that, as will Saglawy and Msassa."

The trainer's son Patrick will be on duty in the Gras Savoye Hipcover Prix Marechal Foch for amateur riders, which starts Sunday's card, as he will partner Polidam in the 2m6f chase.

Of his annual French voyage, Mullins added: "It's a weekend I always enjoy. We're treated very well over there and, once the temperatures are not too hot for the horses it works well for us. It's due to be 22C  over there on Sunday so that should be fine."

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Ruby won't be riding in France so David [Mullins] will be on Djakadam. He seems in good form at home and were looking forward to running him
E.W. Terms
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