Flame in Istabraq field for Leopardstown
COUNTRYWIDE Flame could face the hardest test of his jumping life if he takes up his engagement in the Istabraq Festival Hurdle at Leopardstown on December 29.
John Quinn's Triumph Hurdle hero made the perfect start to his career outside novice company when pulling right away in last weekend's Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle.
However, no less a horse than Willie Mullins' former Champion Hurdle winner Hurricane Fly, successful on his comeback at Punchestown, lurks among the 19 entries.
Also engaged are top British novices Darlan and Cinders And Ashes, whose stablemate Peddlers Cross has also been put in the event by trainer Donald McCain.
Last year's winner Unaccompanied is one of three chances for Dermot Weld.
The entries for all the major events at the Leopardstown Christmas meeting were released on Tuesday and Paul Nicholls' Edgardo Sol is the only British challenger in the Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase against Big Zeb, winner for the last two years.
Last week's Royal Bond winner Jezki is part of a huge entry for the Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle on the same day along with potential star Don Cossack and a host of Mullins contenders.