Ricci stars in Irish Champion

Faugheen and Annie Power are among 10 entries for the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle.

Annie Power: Entered in the Irish Champion

Faugheen, winner of the 2015 Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, was brilliant in the Irish equivalent at Leopardstown last January.

However, he was unable to defend his crown at Prestbury Park due to injury and has not been seen in competitive action since.

In Faugheen's absence, Annie Power was supplemented for a tilt at the two-mile hurdling showpiece at Cheltenham and ran out an all-the-way winner before following up at Aintree.

She has also not been seen on a racecourse this season, but like her stablemate has been given the option of running at Leopardstown on January 29.

Willie Mullins, who prior to Faugheen's triumph 12 months ago saddled the great Hurricane Fly to win a record five successive renewals, has also entered Clondaw Warrior, Diakali, Ivan Grozny, Nichols Canyon and Footpad.

The Henry de Bromhead-trained Petit Mouchoir, a former Mullins inmate, was an impressive winner of Leopardstown's Ryanair Hurdle over the festive period and could return to the Foxrock track.

Gordon Elliott's top-class mare Apple's Jade and Joseph O'Brien's Triumph Hurdle hero Ivanovich Gorbatov complete the field.

Read More at Sporting Life

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