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Pont Alexandre Leopardstown 27/01/2013

Neptune hope Pont Alexandre is many Irish punters' banker of the meeting

  PICTURE: Patrick McCann (  

Unbeaten trio look set to face off in Neptune

THERE are only ten declared, three of them unbeaten, for Wednesday's Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle but it promises to be the race of the day ahead of Sprinter Sacre's Champion Chase exhibition.

Pont Alexandre, many Irish punters' banker of the meeting, faces the similarly unbeaten Chatterbox, who beat stablemate My Tent or Yours on his hurdling debut, and the Alan King-trained Two Rockers.

The New One, described as potentially the best he has trained by multiple Cheltenham Festival winner Nigel Twiston-Davies and Grade 1 Challow Hurdle winner Taquin De Seuil make this one of the classiest runnings of this 2m5f feature.

Pont Alexandre's trainer Willie Mullins has a strong hand of runners through the day starting with hot favourite Back In Focus in the National Hunt Chase, commemorating the corinthian amateur rider and journalist John Oaksey,

Mullins has three in the Champion Bumper which also features champion Flat jockeys Richard Hughes and Joseph O'Brien.

The absence of Big Buck's, winner for the last four years, has brought a wide-open renewal of the Ladbrokes World Hurdle with 14 contenders declared this morning for Thursday's Grade 1 feature.

Reve De Sivola and Oscar Whisky head the betting but Paul Nicholls runs both former Triumph Hurdle winner Celestial Halo and Wonderful Charm with Bog Warrior and Solwhit heading the Irish challenge.

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