Sempre Medici looks in line for Champion prep
There was no sign of either Vautour in the entries for Saturday's Red Mills Chase or Annie Power in Sunday's Boyne Hurdle, which comes as no surprise despite the fact that both races were suggested in passing by trainer Willie Mullins.
But Champion Hurdle entrant Sempre Medici could warm up for the Champion Hurdle in the Red Mills Trial Hurdle at Gowran Park this weekend.
Sempre Medici would look the current fourth string of Mullins' likely Champion Hurdle entries, but he has certainly improved dramatically this season and is due to attempt to make it two from two following a win at Naas last month.
At Navan on Sunday, World Hurdle entry and Grade One winner Prince Of Scars is one of 10 included in the Boyne Hurdle over 2m5f.
Gigginstown House Stud have a number of noteworthy entries on Sunday and also have another Grade One winner, Lieutenant Colonel in that race.
Interestingly, former jockey Andrew McNamara could saddle his first runner as a trainer in the Boyne Hurdle as he now trains ex-Willie Mullins inmate Val De Ferbet for Andrew Heffernan.
Navan also host two Grade Two novice chases in which Black Hercules, Free Expression, Monksland, Noble Endeavor, Shantou Flyer and The Game Changer are all possible inclusions.
Meanwhile, Paul Nicholls is set to give a seasonal debut to last season's Champion Chase winner, Dodging Bullets, at Newbury on Saturday.
Nicholls said yesterday: "Win, lose or draw he'll improve for the run. I don't think I have ever had him quite as fit and as well as he is now before for his first run of the season.
"Last year, he needed his first run and then he won three Grade Ones. He will have one run and go to Cheltenham at his very best, having had just the one run."