Big guns entered in Irish Champion
Nicky Henderson has entered both Binocular and Grandouet in the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown on January 29 where Hurricane Fly is also among 14 top-class entries.
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Binocular has yet to reappear this season after returning to training later than many of his stablemates and with Henderson having so many Champion Hurdle contenders this season the race has been mentioned as a possible starting point.
Grandouet, forced to miss the Cheltenham Festival in March through a late setback, made a pleasing return to action in last month's International Hurdle against Zarkandar and Rock On Ruby.
John Quinn's Countrywide Flame, an easy winner of the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle but well beaten in the Christmas hurdle at Kempton, is another possible challenger from Britain.
Hurricane Fly, winner of the Festival Hurdle at Leopardstown over Christmas, will be bidding to land this race for a second successive year. His Willie Mullins-trained stablemates So Young, Thousand Stars and Zaidpour are also among the possibles.
Solwhit, an established rival of Hurricane Fly who made such an encouraging reappearance for Charles Byrnes recently, could take on his old foe once more. Byrnes has also entered last year's smart novice Trifolium.
Ladbroke winner Cause Of Causes, Captain Cee Bee, Unaccompanied, Hisaabaat and One Cool Shabra complete the list.