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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Mullins runs three as he bids for another big Flat handicap success

Digeanta (orange cap): Danny Sheehy claims 7lb off the 2015 Irish Cesarewitch winner
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5.30 Killarney
Laurels Pub & Restaurant Kingdom Gold Cup Handicap | 1m6f | 3yo+ | ATR

Willie Mullins, always a force to be reckoned with in the big staying handicaps, is three-handed here with two winners of the Irish Cesarewitch, Laws Of Spin and Digeanta, being joined by the more lightly raced She's So Flawless.

Laws Of Spin was completing a hat-trick when he won last year's Irish Cesarewitch but Mullins fears that the four-year-old is up against it with top weight. "He hasn't shown the sort of form he displayed last year and he's facing a tough task on ground that won't be ideal, "Mullins said.

Danny Sheehy claims 7lb off Digeanta, the 2015 Irish Cesarewitch winner, and Mullins said: "He showed a sparkle of his old form when fourth in the big amateur riders' handicap at Galway but disappointed there when we ran him again later in the week. He has won a couple of times over the course but he too would prefer better ground."

Mullins added: "She's So Flawless has had only three runs and is back to the course and trip over which she won her maiden last month. She's in good form, goes on the ground and has a lovely low weight [8st 4lb]." 

'Serious chance' for Snow Falcon

Smart staying hurdler Snow Falcon, rated 157 in that sphere but just 88 after only three runs on the Flat, represents Noel Meade, who has booked Colin Keane to ride the seven-year-old.

A winner over the trip at last year's Listowel festival, Snow Falcon went on to finish fifth when favourite for the Leopardstown November Handicap and will be making his first appearance since the Punchestown festival in April.

Meade said: "Snow Falcon is in very good shape and he has run well fresh in the past. He's got a good draw [2] and he has a serious chance.

"The one slight concern I have is the distance. I'd prefer a longer trip for him, especially on a sharp track like Killarney."

Snow Falcon (cerise): opened his account over fences at Leopardstown under Sean Flanagan

Aydoun bids to follow up hurdles win

Aydoun, winner of a maiden hurdle at the Galway festival, reverts to the Flat for the first time since May and is visored for the first time.

This race played its part in Vintage Crop's rise up the rankings when the subsequent Melbourne Cup hero won 25 years ago when it was run at Tralee and Aydoun represents his trainer Dermot Weld.

"Aydoun won well over hurdles last time. He's adaptable and I expect him to run well in what looks a very competitive race. The visor is on to help him concentrate on the sharp track," Weld said.

First-timers at the distance

Clongowes has been a model of consistency this season, winning twice and finishing runner-up on his other five starts. The Jim Bolger-trained three-year-old will be tackling the distance for the first time.

The 13-runner line-up also includes the Jarlath Fahey-trained six-year-old Sea The Lion, another going the distance for the first time and who will be chasing a hat-trick on his return from a 55-day absence.

She's had only three runs and is back to the course and trip over which she won her maiden last month. She has a lovely low weight
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