Mullins aim­ing for French Group One flat glory with Max Dy­na­mite

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - RACING NEWS AND PROGRAMMES - BRIAN O’CON­NOR

Wil­lie Mullins has valu­able do­mes­tic Graded races in his sights over jumps this week­end and a rare Group One tar­get for Max Dy­na­mite in Paris to boot. Ire­land’s cham­pion Na­tional Hunt trainer fa­mously won the 2016 Ir­ish Leger with Wick­low Brave and that star per­former is among Mullins’s big-race team at Tip­per­ary to­mor­row.

Now an­other dual-pur­pose stal­wart, Max Dy­na­mite, looks to have re­al­is­tic hopes of top-flight flat race glory in the Qatar Prix Du Cad­ran which is off at 4.40pm Ir­ish-time at Longchamp on Sat­ur­day.

Twice placed in the Mel­bourne Cup, the sole Ir­ish raider is gen­eral 9-2 third favourite for the two-and-a-half mile fea­ture which is re­garded as the French Gold Cup.

Ital­ian An­drea Atzeni teams up with the Ir­ish hope in an eight-run­ner con­test for which the lo­cal hope Holdthasi­green is likely to start favourite.

Atzeni has also been booked by Gavin Cromwell to ride Princess Yaiza in the Group Two Prix de Roy­al­lieu on the same Longchamp card.

Bal­ly­casey

Mullins has six starters at his lo­cal Gowran track to­day in­clud­ing Bal­ly­casey who will try to re­peat his 2016 tri­umph in the Grade Two PWC Cham­pion Chase. Last year’s win­ner A Toi Phil also lines up with Davy Rus­sell on board. That leaves Rachael Black­more to ride the Ryanair Chase win­ner Balko Des Flos on his first start of the sea­son.

Balko Des Flos has a 169 rat­ing to eclipse ev­ery­thing else in the race although cru­cially Bal­ly­oisin has the ad­van­tage of race fit­ness and his favoured de­cent ground con­di­tions.

There are a trio of Grade Three events at Tip­per­ary and while Wick­low Brave and Quick Gra­bim can score for Mullins in the first two Le Richebourg looks a likely an­swer to the Like A But­ter­fly Novice Chase. The one time clas­sic hope Imag­ing re­turns to ac­tion in the Group Three Con­corde Stakes where his sta­ble com­pan­ion Yu­long Gold Fairy can also prove a ma­jor player.

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