Mullins bids for Belmont gold
Willie Mullins launches a twin assault on the Belmont Gold Cup Invitational Stakes on Friday evening with Clondaw Warrior and Wicklow Brave.
Wicklow Brave provided Ireland's champion National Hunt trainer with a first Flat Classic in the Irish St Leger last season and was last seen winning the Punchestown Champion Hurdle.
Clondaw Warrior, owned by the Act D Wagg Syndicate which includes Ruby Walsh's wife Gillian, finished second in the American St Leger last August and was placed at Grade One level over hurdles last season.
"Both have travelled over well. Clondaw Warrior has been to America before and Wicklow Brave has been to Australia so we were confident they'd take it in their stride," said Mullins' son and assistant Patrick.
"They've adapted to their surroundings well and have been eating and drinking.
"Clondaw Warrior was second at Arlington last year and the horse who won that race (Da Big Hoss) actually won this race before that, so we know his level of form equates well out there.
"He's got a light weight and a top-class jockey in John Velazquez.
"Wicklow Brave has been a fantastic horse and has taken his owner Nick Peacock all over the world.
"He's got a Group One penalty for his Irish St Leger win and a wide draw in stall 12, so it won't be easy for him.
"If he can reproduce that Irish Leger form, though, then you'd have to fancy his chances as it is probably the strongest form in the race beating Order Of St George.
"It's fantastic prize-money but very expensive getting the horses out there. Willie does keep an eye out for suitable races, though."
Sir Mark Prescott's St Michel has also made the journey along with Hugo Palmer's Wall Of Fire.
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