Mullins unlikely to run Yorkhill in Champion Hurdle

Willie Mullins says there are no plans to run Yorkhill in the Stan James Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

After winning the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle at The Festival last March, Yorkhill then triumphed at Aintree in April, Fairyhouse in December and at Leopardstown last month to maintain his fine form.

Mullins’ leading Champion Hurdle contenders, Faugheen and Annie Power, have both been ruled out of The Festival in recent weeks but the trainer has insisted there are no plans afoot to supplement Yorkhill so he can run in the Champion Hurdle on the first day at Cheltenham next month.

“I’m happy to keep him over fences,” Mullins told the Irish Times.

“It’s his novice year. We could seriously have a think about putting him back over hurdles next season if we want to. But at the moment we’re not thinking like that.

“At the moment the Champion Hurdle is not part of our plan.”

Yorkhill is well fancied for the Arkle Trophy instead at Cheltenham this year.

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