Walsh plays down Yorkhill switch

Ruby Walsh appears to have played down the prospect of Yorkhill reverting to hurdles following setbacks for Faugheen and Annie Power.

Yorkhill: Could he switch to hurdles for Cheltenham?

Last year's Neptune winner is two from two over fences this season, but with Willie Mullins now lacking an obvious contender for the Stan James Champion Hurdle, some had suggested that Yorkhill could follow Buveur D'Air in returning to the smaller obstacles.

Walsh, speaking on Racing UK, appeared to think such a notion was unlikely – despite confirming that he had not discussed the matter with Mullins.

Asked if Yorkhill could be a Champion Hurdle contender, Walsh said: "Maybe he would, I haven't discussed it with Willie so I don't know.

"We made a decision earlier in the season to go chasing with him and I'd imagine that's what we will do.

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"He's not entered in the Champion Hurdle so he would have to be supplemented, and I'd imagine to do that you'd have to be very, very, very, very happy with him.

"We did it last year with with Annie Power, she was bombing and we thought it was the right thing to do. To do it with Yorkhill, you'd have to be convinced it was the right thing to do.

"Of course, Willie said a few weeks back that he hadn't ruled out the idea of going hurdling, maybe next year or whatever, so I honestly don't know – I haven't discussed it with him."

Pressed on whether Yorkhill would hold strong form credentials if Mullins did pursue a change in plan, Walsh was unequivocal.

"On form, of course you would," he said. "He's a Tolworth winner and he beat Yanworth in the Neptune last year so on form you'd have to think he'd have a good chance."

Walsh also hinted that Vroum Vroum Mag, another with options, will go for a second OLBG Mares' Hurdle title after winning the race last year, rather than take on Unowhatimeanharry in the Sun Bets Stayers' Hurdle.

"She was probably disappointing in Doncaster. She was tough and battled hard to win, but you'd have expected her to do it a bit easier," he confirmed.

"You would imagine a defence of her mares' hurdle crown would be the ideal target for her."

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