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Mullins Finalising Bumper Plans 08/03/07

Willie Mullins - who has landed Cheltenham's Weatherbys Champion Bumper on five previous occasions - expects to have three runners in this year's contest in ex Irish point-to-pointers Mad Fish and Cooldine along with Fiveforthree.

The trio worked with several other Festival contenders in gallops at the Curragh on Wednesday and the Co Carlow trainer is looking forward to Cheltenham.

"All being well we will run Fiveforthree, Mad Fish and Cooldine in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper. They worked at the Curragh on Wednesday and all three are in good form. I have not sorted out any jockeys for them yet," said Mullins

"Mad Fish has come on for his second to Aranleigh at Fairyhouse and I'm very happy with him. He certainly does all the right things at home. Tony's [Mullins] horse that beat him that day would be the one to beat I would imagine, and Cork All Star, trained by Jessica Harrington, also has tremendous form.

"Cooldine looks to be improving - it was a very slowly run race last time which would not have been ideal, as he has a staying pedigree, and Cheltenham will suit him. Fiveforthree has come out of Punchestown well and I'm pleased with him. He has progressed for the race and he's done a couple of nice bits of work since then.

"I think that only three of my five Cheltenham Bumper winners would not have had previous point-to-point experience. Although it's a nice introduction for youngsters, it's also quite risky if you have a very valuable horse!"

Mad Fish, who was bought for 16,000 euros as a yearling at Tattersalls Ireland, failed to find a buyer when reoffered at the same venue as a three-year-old and was led out unsold at 19,000 euros. Meanwhile, Fiveforthree was sold for just 6,000 euros as a foal at Tattersalls Ireland.

Mullins' Festival team is also set to include Snowy Morning, winner of three of his four starts over fences, and Black Harry, winner of a Fairyhouse novices' hurdle by a distance on January 21.

"Snowy Morning looks like going for the Royal & SunAlliance Chase. I am pleased with how he has come out of his Navan race and I think the Spring will suit him better," added Mullins.

"If the ground happened to dry up that would also be in his favour. Although he has run on heavy going this term, he has form on better ground - he won his maiden hurdle on nearly summer ground.

"If he can make the jump up from Grade Two to Grade One company, then he's gong to be an exciting horse, because he stays well and jumps well. Cheltenham will tell us a lot about where we can go with him in future.

"One horse I am particularly looking forward to running is Black Harry in the Brit Insurance Novices' Hurdle. He was very impressive when he won at Fairyhouse and he stays and jumps well, plus he will love the soft ground.

"He came out of the race in good order and worked very well on Wednesday. Although he hasn't run since January, he had plenty of runs before that so he's fairly straight."

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