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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Mullins cool on Que World bidHeadlines
Quevega

Willie Mullins has reiterated Quevega is an unlikely runner in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival on March 14 - despite her name appearing among a record number of 61 entries.

The County Carlow handler has stated that a fifth win in the OLBG Mares' Hurdle is her priority, even though she is 5-1 ante-post favourite with the sponsors for the World Hurdle.

Mullins told at The Races: "You always need to have them entered. The transport on the way over for Tuesday could break down."

He added: "At least we'd be in the World Hurdle (but) I can't see us changing my plan. We're not going to have a horse that's been running all year that would have hard fitness, we're just going to get her ready for one race so I don't think we'd run twice."

Noel Meade's Monksland looks a major player after winning the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown and is on target for the race.

"All is well with him at the moment and the plan is to run Monksland in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle. I am just giving him an easy time - a bit of break - and then we will start building him up for Cheltenham," said Meade.

"With Big Buck's out of it, the World Hurdle has opened up. Monksland obviously stays well, but he isn't a slow horse and has the speed to win over two miles."

Alan King has elected to put four of his horses in the race, headed by Smad Place, who was third to Big Buck's in the last World Hurdle, and Lovcen, who beat Fingal Bay in the big novice hurdle at Aintree, has not flourished over fences and could step back.

King said: "All options are open at the moment. Smad Place will go for the National Spirit at Fontwell first and I'm not sure about Walkon.

"Lovcen hates chasing and might go for the Cleeve as it's tough off his handicap mark."

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