Commander heads straight to Gold Cup
(Healy Racing Photos)
The 12-year-old went agonisingly close to making a triumphant return when he was caught in the dying strides by Cape Tribulation on Saturday, in his first race since he was pulled up in the Gold Cup some 680 days earlier.
Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies reported the 2010 Gold Cup hero to be in fine shape on Sunday morning and is looking forward to another crack at the blue riband in March.
"It was heartbreaking to see him mugged on the line, but yet again he showed all his doubters wrong. He can come back and hopefully is as good as ever," the Naunton handler told At The Races.
"He's 100%, not a bother on him. It's a relief and in top-class races you always worry a little bit about injuries, but he's never had any horrendous injury. They have only been very minor, they just take time to mend.
"He goes straight to the Gold Cup. The bounce factor wouldn't worry me at all. Firstly it's nearly seven weeks so he can have a break now and we can get him back again.
"I'm not a great believer in bounce factors. I think all he can do is improve."
Willie Mullins is confident Hurricane Fly is in better shape than at any stage last season as he aims to complete a hat-trick in the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle.