Faugheen (right) leads home his stablemates at CheltenhamPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Champion Hurdle 1-2-3 will be entered at Aintree
THE first three home in the Stan James Champion Hurdle will all be entered at Aintree according to Ireland's champion trainer Willie Mullins.
Faugheen, Arctic Fire and Hurricane Fly have each been given an option for the Doom Bar Aintree Hurdle, while OLBG Mares’ Hurdle faller Annie Power will also be entered for the 2m4f contest, in which Mullins saddled close third Diakali last year.
It remains to be seen how many, if any of the four line up for the race, but Mullins has hinted that he will have more entries than ever this year at the three-day festival, which comes four weeks after his record-breaking haul of eight winners at Cheltenham.
The trainer said: "All our Champion Hurdle horses will be entered in the Aintree Hurdle along with Annie Power, she is in good form after Cheltenham.
“Boston Bob will probably be in the Melling Chase and we will have a few entries in the Topham. I hope to have a nice sprinkle of entries over the three days, I will probably have a bigger team than usual going to Aintree this year.
"We are just coming down off Cloud Nine after Cheltenham and it is back to work today, we are off galloping horses", added Mullins, who has just the one arrow to fire at the Grand National itself.
He commented: "Unfortunately I only have one left in the National, Ballycasey. Boston Bob didn't run well enough at Cheltenham and the weights are not going up enough for Prince De Beauchene so Patrick has decided to keep him at home and maybe bring him back next year.
"Ballycasey goes on a flat track and I think the spring ground will be better for him. His pedigree would suggest that he will stay the trip and I am looking forward to running him."