Mullins duo deputise for Min
View from connections ahead of Sunday's Frank Ward Solicitors Arkle Novice Chase at Leopardstown.
Bleu Et Rouge represents Willie Mullins
Willie Mullins will be hoping Bleu Et Rouge or Royal Caviar can play the role of super-sub in the Frank Ward Solicitors Arkle Novice Chase at Leopardstown.
Mullins is bidding for a third successive victory in the Grade One contest following the triumphs of Un De Sceaux and Douvan and his number one candidate for this year's renewal was Min, who was hugely impressive over the course and distance last month.
However, an 11th-hour setback saw him ruled out and Mullins fires a twin assault in his absence.
The JP McManus-owned Bleu Et Rouge won the Grade One Deloitte Novice Hurdle at this venue last season and made a successful start over fences back at Leopardstown over Christmas, despite having failed to convince in the jumping department.
Royal Caviar was largely disappointing over hurdles, but could not have been more impressive on his chasing debut at Thurles.
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Patrick Mullins, assistant to his father, said: "Bleu Et Rouge is a high-class horse. His jumping was a little sticky the last day, but at least he has experience over fences at the track now.
"Royal Caviar's form is probably below what Bleu Et Rouge has achieved, but then again he jumped very well in Thurles and it looks like he could leave his hurdles form behind over fences.
"He was very slick the last day and he could be the surprise package of the race."
The Henry de Bromhead-trained Identity Thief was top class over hurdles and made a flying start to his chasing career with successive wins at Punchestown.
The seven-year-old was expected to put it up to Min in last month's Racing Post Novice Chase, but pulled up lame after a couple of jumping errors.
"He seems in good form. He had a few days off after the last day, but since then he's been good and we checked him out completely," said De Bromhead.
"He schooled really well the other day."
Just four runners go to post, with De Bromhead also saddling Naas scorer Some Plan.
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