Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 23 August 2014

Irish team take on World

Mourad

Willie Mullins' pair Mourad and Fiveforthree head a strong Irish team for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival on Thursday.

Mourad was an impressive winner of the Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran last time, while Fiveforthree returned to racecourse action with a victory over Newmill at Punchestown.

Festival regular Powerstation, Edward O'Grady's Rigour Back Bob and last year's Albert Bartlett winner Berties Dream are other hopes from Ireland among 14 still in the race.

Big Buck's and Grands Crus are the headline acts and the former will be trying to win the race for the third time in a row, emulating three-times scorer Inglis Drever.

The emergence of Grands Crus, unbeaten in three starts, has sparked the race into life, and his trainer David Pipe also has Ashkazar as an option.

Nicky Henderson's Zaynar steps up to three miles for the first time, with Celestial Halo representing the same connections as Big Buck's.

Any Given Day, Cross Kennon, Restless Harry and Souffleur are the other possibles at the latest stage.

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