Willie Mullins has two chances to land the Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle, which gets the inaugural Dublin Racing Festival under way at Leopardstown on Saturday.

The champion trainer sends into battle Limerick Grade Two winner Fabulous Saga and Carter McKay.
Patrick Mullins, assistant to his father, said: “Fabulous Saga seems to have improved hugely since we put the tongue-tie on him.

“He’s coming back in trip and running on slightly better ground, but he’s a hardened novice compared to a lot of these and has a lot of experience. Anything that tries to go by him will know they’ve had a race.

“Carter McKay is stepping up in trip but he’s a horse that settles well, which is a big advantage in these longer distance races.

“There might not be as much between the two of them as the form suggests and I’d be expecting him to run a very big race, too.”

Trainer Gordon Elliott and owners Gigginstown House Stud rely upon Dortmund Park, who steps up to Grade One level following victories in lesser company at Fairyhouse and Thurles.

Mullins saddles course-and-distance winners Minella Encore and Blackbow in the Grade Two Goffs Future Stars INH Flat Race.

Elliott runs three-time bumper winner Rapid Escape and Empire Burleque, and said of the former: “He’s going to be some horse for the future.

“He worked the other day and worked very well. He’s an easy enough horse to keep fit and this has been the plan.

“I’d imagine this will be his last run (of the season).”