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    26 February 2024

    Ferny Hollow Impresses on Long-Awaited Return to Racing

    Ferny Hollow Shines Bright in Newlands Chase

    Ferny Hollow marked a remarkable comeback after more than two years away from the track with an outstanding performance in the Newlands Chase at Naas. Despite this impressive return, it seems unlikely that we will see him competing at next month’s Cheltenham Festival.

    It has been nearly four years since Ferny Hollow clinched victory in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham under the guidance of trainer Willie Mullins. However, injuries have plagued his career, limiting him to just three subsequent races.

    Following a successful hurdling debut at Gowran Park, Ferny Hollow faced another setback with over a year off due to injury. Nevertheless, he made a smooth transition to fences upon his return, securing consecutive wins including a Grade One triumph at Leopardstown in December 2021 before going off-grid once again.

    Despite being absent for 791 days, Ferny Hollow entered the Grade Three race as the clear favorite at odds of 2-5. Jockey Paul Townend guided him exuberantly throughout the two-mile contest, showcasing impeccable jumping skills and seizing control of the race effortlessly on the home stretch.

    Trainer Willie Mullins expressed satisfaction with Ferny Hollow’s performance post-race stating: “I was pleased to see him perform well after such a lengthy break. Hopefully, he remains fit so we can sustain his form.”

    Although Coral shortened Ferny Hollow’s odds for the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham following this victory, Mullins hinted that they might skip this event and focus on upcoming festivals instead considering its proximity.

    Looking ahead,Mullinsexpressed,”We may consider Cheltenham,but it could be too demanding for his second outing.We’ll evaluate how he recovers from today’s run and possibly opt for less challenging races.”

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