Sir Gerhard and Ferny Hollow headline Mullins team for Leopardstown opener | Racing News

Sir Gerhard, Ferny Hollow and Chacun Pour Soi are all on Willie Mullins’ team for the first two days of the Leopardstown Christmas Festival.

Champion Bumper winner Sir Gerhard will make his hurdles debut in the Thorntons Recycling Maiden Hurdle on a 20-runner course on Sunday.

Speaking to Racing TV about Sir Gerhard, Mullins said: “He jumps well. He’s ready for action.”

Mullins also runs an interesting competitor in Goven, a two-time winner on the Flat in France before being bought by JP McManus.

Ferny Hollow, who like Sir Gerhard is owned by Cheveley Park Stud, faces five rivals in the Racing Post Novice Chase.

Another Champion Bumper winner, he only had one obstacle course – when he beat Bob Olinger – before an injury shortened his season, but he started this campaign with a win over the fences.

“He doesn’t have a lot of racing experience, so Patrick (Mullins) was happy to have been teased and crowded during the race last time,” said Mullins.

Ferny Hollow is one of six, but will face a severe test from Gordon Elliott’s mare Riviere D’etel.

At four, he gets a lot of allowances and to date has won all three of his outings on the paddocks.

Coeur Sublime, a four-length second for Ferny Hollow last time around, faces it again.

Elliott’s Fil Dor and Britzka duo look like the two to beat in the Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle, in which seven were declared.

That same afternoon in Limerick, eight were declared for the Grade One Boylesports Faugheen Novice Chase.

Gavin Cromwell has both Gabynako and Vanillier in the two and a half mile race, in which Elliott manages Farouk D’alene.

Monday’s Paddy’s Rewards Club chase sees Everyone For Self meet Sending Allen in an intriguing confrontation.

Both, however, are on some sort of recovery mission.

Race winner Chacun Pour Soi was a glowing favorite for Tingle Creek Chase, but he stained his notebook with an unusual display of poor jumping.

Mullins feels he may have had an excuse, though.

“He seems to be fine, the only thing we could find after Sandown was that he took the chestnut off his hock, which I call their fifth toe,” he said.

“It’s a bit like a runner who takes off his fingernail in a race, I’d say. We don’t know when it happened but of course it happened before the fourth, I’d say.

“It didn’t jump going down the back where I thought it would take a whole length to each fence.”

Envoi Allen could only finish sixth in the John Durkan and drops to two miles for the first time since winning the Royal Bond as a novice hurdler.

Battleoverdoyen and Sizing Pottsie complete the field of the four runners. Mullins decided not to declare Energumene.

In the Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle, Largy Debut, who comfortably represented Kilcruit in Cork, faces off against the Elliott duo from Mighty Potter and Three Stripe Life.

The field is completed by three runners trained by Mullins, Arctic Warrior, Farout and Grangee.

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