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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 April, 2005, 10:39 GMT 11:39 UK
Mullins seeks Hedgehunter double
Ruby Walsh on Hedgehunter
Grand National-winning trainer Willie Mullins is eyeing an Aintree repeat for Hedgehunter in 2006.

The 7-1 favourite took an impressive 14-length victory in Saturday's race under the guidance of Ruby Walsh.

And the win represented a big turnaround in fortunes after the horse's fall while leading approaching the final fence in the 2004 race.

"The long-term plan is to come back to Aintree for another National bid. We'll aim for that next year," said Mullins.

Hedgehunter is rated as a 16-1 chance with bookmakers William Hill to win back-to-back Grand Nationals.

Carlow-based Mullins, who had a scare before the race when Hedgehunter appeared to be suffering from a head cold, was pleased his charge emerged unscathed after the run.

Hedgehunter is entered in the Betfred Gold Cup at Sandown at the end of the month but that might be a bit quick for him
Trainer Willie Mullins

"He seemed very relaxed in his box and was good on Sunday morning. He seems to have travelled well, he's a little stiff but other than that he's good," he said.

"He will go up to Leopardstown to parade and then he'll come home to the stables on Sunday night."

Mullins has two races in mind for the nine-year-old's next outing.

"He is entered in the Betfred Gold Cup at Sandown at the end of the month but that might be a bit quick for him," he said.

"I'm looking at the French Gold Cup at the end of May so we'll just see time-wise how he recovers."

Hedgehunter would land a 250,000 bonus for connections should he follow up his Aintree success in the Sandown race where he is a 7-1 chance with the race sponsors.


WATCH AND LISTEN
Replay: Watch the 2005 Grand National in full


Interviews: Ruby Walsh, Willie Mullins and Trevor Hemmings


Highlights: The 2005 Grand National




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