Super Fly heads Champion squad
Published 18/01/2011 | 14:12
Hurricane Fly spearheads seven confirmations for Sunday's BHP Insurances Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown.
The Willie Mullins-trained seven-year-old has enjoyed a superb campaign so far, winning his two starts with consummate ease, and is the general second favourite for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Mullins said: "I'm very happy with the horse going into the race."
Hurricane Fly will take on long-term adversary Solwhit, who won the race 12 months ago for the Charles Byrnes operation.
Byrnes said: "Solwhit is going to run in the Irish Champion. He has come out of the Paddy Power Festival Hurdle very well.
"The race turned into a sprint. He would have preferred more of a gallop, although he would still not have beaten Hurricane Fly, but they would then probably have been a long way ahead of the third.
"The chances of beating Hurricane Fly on Sunday are very, very slim as Hurricane appears to be settling better in his races now and he is much better at the end of his races than he previously was.
"There is good prize-money - 22,000 euro for second place - but that won't be easy as there are a few other good ones in it. It looks a cracking race."
Dunguib, trained by Philip Fenton, has also stood his ground, but has not been sighted since finishing sixth to Hurricane Fly in last season's Rabobank Champion Hurdle at Punchestown in April.
Voler La Vedette is the only mare in the field and is reported by Colm Murphy to be on course for the race, while Mullins has also left in Thousand Stars, and Sublimity remains in contention. Peddlers Cross still holds an entry, but he is more likely to head to Haydock.