Hurricane Fly (right): favourite to beat Solwhit (left) in the Irish ChampionPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Hurricane Fly odds-on for Irish Champion Hurdle
HURRICANE FLY has been installed the 8-11 favourite with Ladbrokes for the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown on January 23.
The Willie Mullins-trained ace was handed the race as his next target after winning his third consecutive Grade 1 over course and distance last month.
In taking the Paddy Power-backed Festival Hurdle, Hurricane Fly defeated Solwhit for the third consecutive time.
However, trainer Charles Byrnes did confirm his charge would take on Hurricane Fly for a fifth time and Ladbrokes make him a 2-1 chance to turn the tables on his old rival.
Hayley O'Connor of Ladbrokes said: "Hurricane Fly has enjoyed superiority over hisgreat rival Solwhit in recent times, but the latter's decisive win in this race last year could give his backers confidence. It already has the shape of a fantastic renewal at the end of the month."
Dunguib, third in last year's Spinal Research Supreme Novices' Hurdle, is a 6-1 shot to defeat both should connections choose theIrish Champion Hurdle for his seasonal reappearance.
Realt Dubh, who capitalised on a poor performance from Mikael D'Haguenet when winning the Grade 1 Bord Na Mona With Nature Novice Chase at Leopardstown last time out, has been installed the 5-2 favourite for the Frank Ward Solicitors Arkle Novice Chase over the same course and distance.
Having disappointed when 4-7 favourite last time, Mikael D'Haguenet is a 5-1 shot to redeem himself, while Mullins-trained stablemate Quel Esprit is the 3-1 second favourite.
Frank Ward Solicitors Arkle Novice Chase
Ladbrokes bet: 5-2 Realt Dubh, 3 Quel Esprit, 5 Mikael D'Haguenet, 6 Mr Cracker, 6 Noble Prince, 7 Flat Out, 9 Torpichen, 12 bar
BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle
Ladbrokes bet: 8-11 Hurricane Fly, 2 Solwhit, 6 Dunguib, 10 Voler La Vedette, 14 Luska Lad, 16 Blackstairmountain, 20 bar