Wednesday 17 January 2018

Faugheen and Hurricane Fly two of Mullins runners at Punchestown Champion Hurdle

Hurricane Fly
Hurricane Fly

Faugheen and Hurricane Fly are two of five entries for Willie Mullins in the Queally Group Celebrating 35 Years In Naas Champion Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival.

Faugheen eclipsed his illustrious stable companion with a scintillating display in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham last month and looks set to be the champion trainer's chief hope for the Grade One event on May 1.

Mullins has also entered the brilliant mare Annie Power, Champion Hurdle runner-up and Aintree faller Arctic Fire and Aintree-winning novice Nichols Canyon.

Hurricane Fly, a four-time winner of this race, Annie Power and Arctic Fire also have the option of the three-mile Ladbrokes World Series Hurdle.

Just three horses could take on the Mullins battalion in the Champion Hurdle, including last year's winner Jezki.

Jessica Harrington's charge was only fourth when defending his crown at Cheltenham, but regained winning ways in last week's Aintree Hurdle.

Harrington said: "Jezki gave us a great day at Liverpool and he has come out of the race well. We are certainly looking at going to Punchestown again although a decision probably won't be made until later in the week."

Gordon Elliott's Tiger Roll and David Pipe's potential British raider Dell' Arca complete the entries.

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