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Hurricane Fly is one of 12 remaining entries in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham on Tuesday.

Willie Mullins’ excellent hurdler had question marks over his wellbeing after missing his first few possible engagements this season, but he returned to action with a stunning victory in the Irish Champion Hurdle in January and is odds-on to defend his crown.

Ireland’s champion trainer has also left in Thousand Stars, fourth last year, and Zaidpour who has gone unbeaten this season.

Paul Nicholls has four of the remaining entries, headed by last year’s Triumph Hurdle winner Zarkandar.

Rock On Ruby also had solid claims after being touched off in the Christmas Hurdle, while Celestial Halo and Brampour could also run.

Nicky Henderson started the season with four possible candidates but with Spirit Son and Grandouet injured and Oscar Whisky taking on Big Buck’s in the World Hurdle, he relies solely upon 2010 winner Binocular.

Donald McCain went close with Peddlers Cross last year and again runs Overturn who is likely to put the pace into the race.

Jessica Harrington will hope Oscars Well has more luck than at Cheltenham 12 months ago when he finished an unfortunate fourth in the Novices’ Hurdle.

Sabrina Harty’s Kalann and the Tom George-trained Olofi are the other possibles.


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