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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Mullins branches out with TwiglineHeadlines
Willie Mullins

Twigline is a rare runner at Sandown for Irish champion trainer Willie Mullins as she lines up in Friday's Jane Seymour Mares' Novices' Hurdle.

Despite being sidelined for well over two years, the six-year-old French recruit made a most impressive Irish debut at Fairyhouse in November and now tests the water at Listed level for the first time.

Twigline, who like leading mare Quevega and Thousand Stars is owned by the Hammer and Trowel Syndicate, will be partnered by Ruby Walsh. The leading contender for the home team is undoubtedly the Nicky Henderson-trained Utopie Des Bordes.

A Grade One winner over fences in France, the five-year-old made a fine start for new connections at Doncaster a little over a week ago and is likely to be suited by the step up to two and a half miles at Sandown.

Donald McCain's She Ranks Me is forced to concede weight all round, having already won Listed prizes at Newbury and Haydock. Dual Newton Abbot scorer My Legal Lady takes a significant step up in class and trainer Stuart Howe is just hoping for the best.

He said: "I don't think any of them will like the ground - I'd imagine it's going to be desperate - but they've all go to cope with it. There aren't that many opportunities for our mare and we're throwing her in at the deep end a bit.

"The Mullins horse will probably be a serious horse and then there's the Henderson horse as well. If we can run into the frame I'd be delighted."

The six-runner field is completed by Cracking Lass, who was fifth to Utopie Des Bordes at Doncaster, and Toubeera.

The meeting at the Esher circuit goes ahead as planned after passing a Thursday morning course inspection. A provisional all-chase card had been formulated, but this will no longer be necessary as the hurdles track was found to be fit for racing after just three millimetres of overnight rain.

Andrew Cooper, Sandown head of racing and clerk of the course, said: "We measured around 3.5mm of overnight rain, which was right at the bottom end of what we were expecting. It looks as though the weather has now cleared, and there does not look like being much more rain."

20 December 2014

Henderson pleased with big guns
Mulholland serves up Master-class
Bayan bags big Ascot prize
Broadway proves a show-stopper
Three Long Walks for super Sivola
Queen wears Listed crown
Nicholls strikes with Saint
Sceaux puts in impressive show
Silvi the star turn in King George
Sceaux puts in impressive show
Geraghty enthused by Bobs work
Walsh pain at Vautour defection
Billy puffing his chest out again
Master back in the spotlight
Grugy in line to start cantering
Newland seeks more from Re
Prize money boost in HRI initiative
Zig zips to impressive victory
New steroids policy delayed
Serge states Supreme case
Exciting Sceaux out at Fairyhouse
Firebird skips National service

19 December 2014

Martin readying big guns
Hobbs on Garde at Ascot
Fry excited by Activial chance
The New One in Haydock return
Reve camp not expecting a hat-trick
King issues Chatez Triumph warning
Bolger searching for Mossey key
King weighs up Karezak options
Henderson hoping Bobs makes Lexus
Simonsig camp play the long game
In-form Mole buries Exeter rivals
Sedgefield hit with heavy fine
Star names check in for Ryanair
Bobs revved up for Lexus repeat
Knott disqualified for three years
Geraghty braced for power Serge
Geraghty excited by Josses return
Activial stars in Ladbroke field

18 December 2014

Alvarado back for National service
Winner given Lexus go-ahead
Cheltenham dreams for King's Zero
Sivola bids for Long Walk hat-trick
Power plan uncertain for Westener
Kauto pleases in Olympia display
Mullins eyes twin assault on Lexus
Value oozes class in Newbury romp
Annie Power on road to recovery
Spencer strikes after U-turn
Vautour ready for next jumps test
Mullins banks on Faugheen progress
Victory set to skip Ladbroke
Mullins: Fever can go the distance

17 December 2014

Sidelined Brian misses Whittle
Sceaux to sidestep Haydock raid
Square season derailed by injury
Lexus a non-starter for Clouds
Europe return hinges on ground
Injury woe for Cookson
Plans on hold for Topper
Appeal success for Russell/Enright
Mulholland makes Master plan
Cango makes Catterick impression
Field sizes under BHA microscope
Quinn outlines Aurore options
Legal laying down the law at Ludlow
Ground dictates Attaglance plans
King heartened by Walkon return
Cross set Christmas conundrum

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