Star names on Irish Champion Hurdle list
Apple's Jade and Faugheen are among 12 entries for the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown on February 2.
The race, which takes place on the first day of the Dublin Racing Festival next month, usually attracts some big names and this year is no different, with Gordon Elliot's multiple Grade One winner Apple's Jade standing out among the initial list of entries.
A winner on her last three starts, the mare impressed when taking the Christmas Hurdle on December 28 and will now return to Leopardstown for the Irish Champion Hurdle.
Elliot also includes last season's Triumph Hurdle winner Farclas, Tombstone and Samcro among the possible runners although reports say Samcro is unlikely to feature.
Willie Mullins has plenty of interest in the contest, with 2015 Champion Hurdle winner Faugheen entered, along with much-fancied duo Laurina and Sharjah, while last year's Champion Hurdle runner-up Melon, Cilaos Emery and Saldier are his other potential runners at this stage.
Reigning Irish Champion Hurdle winner Supasundae and Henry de Bromhead's Petit Mouchoir make up the dozen.
Aidan Perkins is a senior journalist that specialises in football stories. Aidan, a Liverpool fan, also has a broad knowledge of several other sports.