Fever and Minsk bid for Bond
Champagne Fever and Minsk feature among a select field of six horses declared for the Bar One Racing Royal Bond Novices' Hurdle at Fairyhouse on Sunday.
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The former, winner of last season's Champion Bumper at Cheltenham, made a successful start over hurdles for Willie Mullins when victorious at Cork earlier this month.
Minsk was a high-class horse on the Flat and started this National Hunt campaign with a win at Punchestown in mid-November.
Dessie Hughes is expecting Minsk to be in the thick of the action. "We're happy with him since the last day he ran at Punchestown and he's ready for it," said the Curragh handler.
"He's had the experience of the run and everything now.
"It's a fabulous race and he doesn't mind the soft ground.
"Hopefully we're strong enough to take the likes of Champagne Fever on now."
Mullins is responsible for half of the field, with Midnight Oil and Zuzka accompanying Champagne Fever.
The County Carlow trainer said: "Champagne Fever is very novicey and is one of the least experienced runners, but we're taking our chance coming back after his win at Cork.
"I hope Midnight Oil does a bit better than last year. We thought we'd let him have a run and see how he is.
"Zuzka has plenty of experience and looks to be an improving type."
Clonbanan Lad and Jezki complete the line up.