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Fujimoto Flyer to test Festival aspirations at Kempton

Fujimoto Flyer

Unbeaten juvenile hurdler Fujimoto Flyer may test her Cheltenham Festival aspirations by switching up to Grade Two level at Kempton this month.

Emmet Mullins is considering the Adonis Juvenile Hurdle on February 22 for the former seven-race Flat maiden, who holds an entry in next month's Triumph at Cheltenham.

Fujimoto Flyer has not run since springing a surprise when she doubled her jumps tally in a Listed event at Auteuil in September, having won on her hurdling debut at Killarney a month earlier.

An aggregate winning distance of 27 lengths indicates significant further potential, and Mullins reports her in good heart despite a five-month absence through the winter. "She's on the go, and she's very well in herself," he said of the youngster, who runs in the famous colours of Simon Munir and Isaac Souede.

"We're trying to find a race for her in the next few weeks - she possibly might go to Kempton for the Adonis Hurdle even, and we'll see how we get on there."

Confirming the Triumph will remain on the agenda if her return goes well, Mullins added: "Exactly. The form in France seems very good - but it'd be nice to get a bit of a gauge on it with the Irish and English horses, and see where that leaves us for Cheltenham."

Spring ground is likely to be favourable for Fujimoto Flyer, who did head to France a second time in the autumn only to be withdrawn after figuring in a false start. Mullins said: "She was withdrawn at the start, the second day, and she just got a bit of a break after that.

"It was a new rule in France, to do with a false start, and I think they're then withdrawn straight away.

"I'd say she prefers a bit of nicer ground."

Shishkin strengthened his position at the head of the market for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle with a stylish success in the Betway Sidney Banks Memorial Novices' Hurdle at Huntingdon. Having run out an impressive winner at Newbury last time out, the Nicky Henderson-trained six-year-old followed up in similarly taking fashion on his first attempt over an extended two miles and three furlongs. Taking matters up over the second-last the 1-2 favourite, who runs in the colours of Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo's owner Joe Donnelly, powered clear before crossing the line 11 lengths clear of runner-up Shan Blue.