Mullins not ruling out return to hurdles for dual festival hero Yorkhill
Willie Mullins has suggested that all options are on the table for last season's JLT Novices' Chase winner Yorkhill, including a potential return to hurdles.
In his stable tour for the Racing Post, Mullins said of the Graham Wylie-owned seven-year-old: "He's been schooling well and, although he jumped to the left last season, most notably in the Ryanair Gold Cup at Fairyhouse when it cost him the race, we're hoping he'll jump straighter.
"We toyed with the idea of going back over hurdles with him last season but the thinking is that we'll start off by running him in a chase and, depending on how he gets on, then hurdling will always be an option."
Yorkhill's class has never been in doubt and he has won at the last two Cheltenham Festivals, accounting for Yanworth in last year's Neptune Novices' Hurdle before easily holding Top Notch in March.
Mullins had already revealed he had been considering a Champion Hurdle campaign for Yorkhill last year when Faugheen and Annie Power met with setbacks and it appears that those thoughts persist, although they may well be affected by Faugheen's impressive return to action at Punchestown on Sunday.
Either way, Mullins is looking forward to running one of the most talented performers in even his all-powerful yard. He reported of Yorkhill: "He's in great order and has been working well. I'm very happy with him and looking forward to getting him started."
Yorkhill is currently quoted for all five of the festival's championship events and is a best-priced 8-1 for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, although he is not entered for the King George.
Read the full Willie Mullins stable tour in Monday's Racing Post. Subscribers to Members' Club can access part one here