Ferny Hollow is due to make a belated return to action in the Newlands Chase at Naas on Sunday.

The Cheveley Park Stud-owned nine year old looked at one stage to have the world at his feet when winning the 2020 Champion Bumper and then his maiden hurdle start ahead of Bob Olinger.

Injury interrupted his career after that and he returned in December 2021 to skip straight to chasing, winning both starts over fences including the Grade One Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown.

He then met with a further setback and has not been seen since, with trainer Willie Mullins intending to run him in the Red Mills Chase at Gowran last weekend but eventually deciding against it.

Now his long-awaited comeback will come at Naas at the weekend, where he is booked to run in the Grade Three Newlands Chase some 791 days after his last start.

Hopeful return

“He’s entered at Naas on Sunday and hopefully he’ll run,” said Mullins, whose charge holds a Queen Mother Champion Chase engagement.

“He was ready to run last weekend in the Red Mills Chase at Gowran, but we had Saint Sam for that and he also gets in here without a penalty which is nice.

“He seems in good form so hopefully he can stay right. We’re very happy with him.”

Paul Townend’s mount will face five rivals, including Ash Tree Meadow (Gordon Elliott) and Espanito Bello (Barry Connell).

Elliott said of his Galway Plate and Down Royal Grade 2 winner: “Ash Tree Meadow was given a break after he won at Down Royal and that was always the plan as he is a horse who has a liking for better ground.

“It was hard to read too much into Down Royal as it was a two-runner race, but the horse won a Galway Plate for us and owes us nothing and we’ll let him have a rattle at some big races during the spring.

“He’s in a couple of races at Cheltenham and he is in the Grand National at Aintree and we’ll stick him in the Irish Grand National as well so he won’t be short of options and we’re looking forward to getting him back out on Sunday at Naas.”

Elliott also runs Epson Du Houx and added: “Epson Du Houx also had a little break. He is a course and distance winner around Naas and hopefully going back there can spark him up again. He’s fresh and well.”