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Thursday 2 February 2023 Dublin: 10°C
©INPHO/Morgan Treacy
# Going For Gold
Mullins: Cooldine ready for Leopardstown showdown
Both Cooldine and stablemate Mikael d’Haguenet have “worked very well” according to their trainer as they prepare for this weekend’s Hennessy Gold Cup meeting.

TRAINER WILLIE MULLINS is confident that his horses are as ready as they’ll ever be as preparations continue ahead of this weekend’s Hennessy Gold Cup meeting at Leopardstown.

All eyes will be on former Cheltenham champion Cooldine in the day’s feature race while another of Mullins’ charges, the highly-rated Mikael d’Haguenet, looks set to go off the odds-on favourite for the Grade 1 Dr. P.J. Moriarty Novice Chase earlier in the afternoon.

Both horses have been in somewhat indifferent form of late, disappointing at the Leopardstown Festival on their last outings. Mikael d’Haguenet could only manage a sub-par fifth place in the Bord na Mona With Nature Novice Chase while Cooldine failed to finish in the showpiece three-mile Lexus Chase.

However, speaking to TheScore this afternoon, Mullins claimed that he was “happy” with the preparations of both horses who have “worked very well during the week”.

The trainer’s yard was also given a great boost ahead of  next month’s Cheltenham Festival this morning with the declaration of top jockey Ruby Walsh that he intends to return from injury in time for the four-day event.

“I met up with Ruby during the week,” the trainer said, “and he seems to be in great form.”

It’s fantastic news for us that he is on the mend so quickly.

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Walsh has been out of the saddle since November last year when he fractured his tibia and fibula during a race at Down Royal. The Kildare man has a remarkable track record at Prestbury Park, saddling an impressive 27 winners since 1998.

Trainer Paul Nolan has given Joncol every chance of retaining his Gold Cup crown on Sunday | Keep an eye out for Mark Hobbs’ weekly racing column here tomorrow