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Big day for . . . Fiveforthree; Hurdle debut for Mullins bumper star.

Byline: Justin O'Hanlon

FIVEFORTHREE makes his hurdling debut after a ten-month absence in the Advanced Hospitality Bookings Maiden Hurdle (3.15) at Fairyhouse this afternoon.

A winner on his bumper debut under Katie Walsh at Punchestown a year ago, the son of Arzanni fared best of trainer Willie Mullins' three runners in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at Cheltenham the following month, showing a decent turn of foot to get into the mix before finishing less than four lengths behind the winner Cork All Star in fifth.

Not surprisingly, he was sent off favourite for his next start, but could finish only third behind Sizing Africa in a winners' bumper at Fairyhouse. He has not been seen out since that contest last April.

"He had a setback when he came back to us in the autumn," said Mullins yesterday.

"He hurt his ribs when rolling in the paddock, so we couldn't subject him to any fast work."

Although he has no intended target at Cheltenham next month, the trainer added: "He's a very nice prospect and I expect a good run."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Feb 13, 2008
Words:180
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