Hurricane Fly will face five rivals as he bids to land the Rabobank Champion Hurdle for the second successive year at Punchestown tomorrow.
The seven-year-old Montjeu gelding made it four out of four this season, all in Grade 1 company, when beating Peddlers Cross by a length and a quarter in the Stan James Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.
Binocular, who missed out on defending his title at Cheltenham, will hope to bounce back from a below par effort at Aintree last month when a soundly beaten fourth behind stable-companion Oscar Whisky in the John Smith’s Aintree Hurdle.
The British challenge is further enhanced by the Philip Hobbs-trained Menorah, fifth behind Hurricane Fly at Cheltenham.
In addition to Hurricane Fly, Willie Mullins is represented by Thousand Stars and Blackstairmountain, while the field is completed by Edward O’Grady’s Alaivan.
William Hill bet: 4/6 Hurricane Fly, 9/2 Binocular, Menorah, 9/1 Thousand Stars, 33/1 Alaivan, Blackstairmountain.