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Leopardstown braced for Hurricane

Hurricane Fly remains on target to make his seasonal return over the festive period as he features among nine preliminary entries for the Istabraq Festival Hurdle at Leopardstown on December 29.

The seven-year-old was unbeaten in five starts for Willie Mullins last season, landing the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown, the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham and the Rabobank Champion Hurdle at Punchestown.

He missed his intended seasonal reappearance at Punchestown last month as the champion trainer was not 100% happy with his charge, but a return to the racecourse appears imminent.

In Hurricane Fly's absence, stablemate Thousand Stars took full advantage to land Punchestown's Morgiana Hurdle. He is also a possible runner.

Jessica Harrington's Oscars Well, the Dermot Weld-trained Unaccompanied and Voler La Vedette from the Colm Murphy yard are other major contenders in the two-mile affair - although the latter is also engaged in the woodiesdiy.com Christmas Hurdle over three miles 24 hours earlier.

There are nine entries for that Grade Two event, with So Young, Mourad and Karabak in the mix.

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