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Mullins brothers could clash with Cesarewitch stars in $2.5m Saudi Arabia prize

If you thought Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz's heavyweight bout was the only high-profile sporting rematch in Saudi Arabia over the coming months then think again.

Willie Mullins' Cesarewitch winners Stratum and Royal Illusion could lock horns with brother Tony's Newmarket runner-up Party Playboy in the Middle East next spring, with a $2.5m staying handicap on the newly formed Saudi Cup card touted as a possible target.

The valuable 1m7f turf contest is part of a lucrative undercard to the richest race in the world at King Abdulaziz racetrack in Riyadh on February 29.

Speaking after recording an unprecedented Cesarewitch double at Newmarket and the Curragh, Mullins said: "On Saturday night I was wondering what we'll do with Stratum now, and there is a $2.5 million race out in Saudi Arabia.

"That could suit him as he goes on good ground, and Royal Illusion could be considered for it too. I would imagine they could both go to Saudi Arabia for that race if they get an invite."

Mullins, who is no stranger to success internationally, added: "The problem is that the race is on February 29 and that is not what I need two weeks before Cheltenham. But, for that money, we would have to give it a go."

His brother Tony is also considering a tilt at the staying handicap and said of his Newmarket runner-up: "We'll only be rated in and around the 90s mark, and whether they let in a horse with that sort of rating or not, I'm not sure.

"There could be an opening as seemingly there are some quarantine problems over there and there are no southern hemisphere horses taking part, so it might be our chance.”

Tony Mullins was not the only member of the family to be denied big-race success by the reigning champion trainer at the weekend, with brother Tom saddling the second and third in the Munster National behind Willie's emphatic scorer Cabaret Queen.

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