Yorkhill set for chasing debut
Yorkhill will face eight rivals when he makes his eagerly anticipated chasing debut at Fairyhouse on Saturday.
Yorkhill: Bbig things expected over fences
The Willie Mullins-trained six-year-old won his first four starts over hurdles last season, including Grade One victories in the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown, the Neptune at Cheltenham and the Mersey Novices' Hurdle at Aintree.
He disappointed on his final appearance of the campaign at Punchestown, but remains a hugely exciting prospect.
And while connections toyed with the idea of another season over hurdles, he kicks off his career over fences in the two-mile Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase.
Owner Graham Wylie said: "He's a very impressive horse and he's definitely going novice chasing this season, but we can revert back to hurdles if we need to.
"Willie said he'll try to get him two more runs before Cheltenham (after Saturday), so we've got three runs under his belt as he needs the experience.
"When I watched the Tolworth in the mud, that was exciting, and when I watched him at Cheltenham I could see that every time he jumped a hurdle he (Ruby Walsh) was having to pull him back because he was so exuberant.
"The amount of power he had under him coming to the second-last was just amazing.
"I am excited about this horse. It will be great to see him out this weekend and see how he gets on."
Yorkhill is a best-priced 9-1 to claim a second Cheltenham Festival success in the Arkle Trophy next March and the 5-1 clear favourite for the JLT Novices' Chase over a longer trip.
"We'll see how he gets on this weekend, but hopefully he'll be in the JLT or the Arkle," Wylie told At The Races.
Yorkhill's opponents at Fairyhouse include former stable companion Burgas, who makes his first start for Noel Meade.
The JP McManus-owned pair of A Great View and A Hardy Nailer are already experienced over fences, having finished down the field behind Min and Bellshill respectively.
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