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Binocular - Sandown 05.02.11

Binocular: in line to reappear at Irish Champion Hurdle on January 27

  PICTURE: Getty Images  

Binocular set for Irish Champion Hurdle

BINOCULAR, winner of the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 2010, could be set to return at the end of the month in the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown.

Not seen since finishing fourth to Rock On Ruby in last year's Champion Hurdle, the nine-year-old has been pencilled in for the Grade 1 on January 27 according to jockey A P McCoy.

McCoy, writing in his column for the Telegraph, said: "It appears that Binocular, a horse for whom I have a huge soft spot having won the 2010 Champion Hurdle on him, now looks likely to make his reappearance in the Irish Champion Hurdle.

"I am really looking forward to riding him again. He has not run since last year's Champion Hurdle, when we finished fourth, but he is ready to go."

McCoy could face a tough decision come March, with Christmas Hurdle winner Darlan, also trained by Nicky Henderson and owned by JP McManus, vying for ante-post favouritism in the Champion Hurdle, and the jockey added: " Darlan will probably now go to the Contenders Hurdle at Sandown the weekend after.

"No matter how they run, I expect it will come down to the usual dilemma of choosing between being loyal to an old favourite or siding with a young improver. I will let you know when I make my decision - about two days before the Champion Hurdle."

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