Sport

Sunday 4 December 2016

Willie Mullins' trio dominate Irish Champion Hurdle entries

Published 20/01/2016 | 01:16

Faugheen
Faugheen

Willie Mullins supplies three of the five possibles in Sunday's BHP Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown.

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As the now-retired Hurricane Fly has dominated the Grade One in recent times, a new name will be engraved on the trophy but with Mullins set to run Faugheen, Nichols Canyon and Arctic Fire, it appears unlikely a new trainer will be celebrating.

Faugheen, who lost his unbeaten record to Nichols Canyon earlier in the season, gets his chance for revenge having skipped the race 12 months ago as he did not run between Christmas and Cheltenham.

Nichols Canyon came out on trip in a grim battle with Identity Thief at Christmas, while Arctic Fire needs to bounce back from a lacklustre run over three miles.

Ruby Walsh has already nailed his colours to the Faugheen mast and is looking forward to the race.

"All three of them worked this morning and I think it will be a very good race," he told Racing UK.

"I don't know what else will run, it will be a small field but it will be a good race.

"I'm sure I'll ride Faugheen. I rode him this morning and he worked well.

"Obviously Nichols beat him at Punchestown. Form is form, you can make excuses and say you'd have done things differently, but that's still the result and Faugheen has to bring his A game and prove that it was a one-off."

The only other two potential runners are Aidan O'Brien's Plinth and Pat Shanahan's King Of The Picts.

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