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Mikael D'Haguenet Cut For Festival Despite Fall On Race Return

Thursday 16th December 2010

Willie Mullins has been trying to get Mikael D'Haguenet back on the track ever since he won the Champion Novice Hurdle at the 2009 Punchestown Festival and he finally got that chance at Fairyhouse yesterday. He was sent off all the rage for his highly anticipated return in the Drinmore Novice Chase, and he looked like scoring for most of the trip as he travelled and jumped with class up until the final fence. D'Haguenet seemed to jump the final fence ok but his legs went from under him and he fell leaving Jessies Dream to take the win, it has to be assumed that the favourite would have won the race and with that in mind the bookmakers have cut his price for the RSA Chase in March. We know that Mikael D'Haguenet acts around Cheltenham as he won the Ballymore Novices Hurdle in 2009, that day he beat the likes of Karabak and Diamond Harry who have both gone onto prove themselves as high class performers.

It appears that the RSA Chase is the intended target for Mikael D'Haguenet this season which is his first over the fences, there are however one or two rumours suggesting that he could go straight to the Gold Cup this season. He will certainly have an entry in both races and depending on his next run connections will be left with a tough decision, the RSA Chase would be the easier route ahead of a Gold Cup tilt at next season's Cheltenham Festival. It is worth noting however that Willie Mullins already has the highly impressive Quel Esprit heading for the RSA Chase, and with that in mind it is quite possible that Mikael D'Haguenet could avoid a clash with his stable mate and go to the big race. He would have to prove himself against the likes of Imperial Commander and Kauto Star but he is clearly full of talent, and the fact that he is so lightly raced means he should improve with every run if he remains fit.

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