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Hurricane Fly (near) - Donnas Palm - Cousin Vinny (yellow) - Royal Bond Hurdle - November 2008

Hurricane Fly (near): could take on elders in Leopardstown Grade 1

  PICTURE: Caroline Norris  

Irish Champion 'just an option' for Hurricane Fly

EXCITING novice Hurricane Fly, who trounced hisrivals by ten lengths at Leopardstown ten days ago, is among 20 entries for the Toshiba Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown on January 25, but has not been priced up by Ladbrokes who opened betting on the race on Monday.

Trainer Willie Mullins described the dual Grade 1 winning novice as "only an entry" and the Grade 1 race, in which the five year old would come up against seasoned rivals, as "just one of many options" for Hurricane Fly, who landed the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse prior to his hugely impressive success at the Leopardstown Christmas meeting.

Mullins said: "I put Hurricane Fly in the race to give us the option of running, but I wouldn't be reading too much into it at this stage. The plan is to try and keep our good novice hurdlers apart and we will have to see where they are all going to fit in."

Ladbrokes, who priced up the Irish Champion Hurdle on Monday, left Hurricane Fly out of their list. They make Sublimity, winner of the December Festival Hurdle at Leopardstown last month, 5-2 favourite ahead of Sizing Europe, winner of the race a year ago, on 4-1 and Jered on 9-2.

Toshiba Irish Champion Hurdle
5-2 Sublimity, 4 Sizing Europe, 9-2 Jered, 5 Harchibald, 10 Brave Inca, Jazz Messenger, Muirhead, Won In The Dark, 14 Ebaziyan, Hardy Eustace, 16 Aitmatov, 20 Beau Michael, Silent Oscar, 25 River Liane, 50 bar.

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