Big guns target Future Champions Novice Hurdle
Last Updated: 26/12/18 12:49pm
Willie Mullins, Gigginstown House Stud and JP McManus provide the six runners for the Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown on Thursday.
Some of the recent greats of the Irish National Hunt scene have their name of the roll of honour, with Hurricane Fly, First Lieutenant, Jezki and Sizing John all going on to prove themselves right out of the top drawer.
At first glance this year's renewal does not look to contain a superstar - but Sizing John was a relatively unconsidered 11-1 chance when he won in 2014 before subsequently landing the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Mullins has won the Grade One affair for the last three years - through Long Dog, Saturnas and Whiskey Sour - and this season is represented by Aramon (Supreme Horse Racing Club) and the mare Sancta Simona, owned by McManus.
Assistant trainer Patrick Mullins said: "Aramon works well at home and we've been happy with him since Fairyhouse.
"He's going to have to step up slightly on what he did in the Royal Bond (third), but that was a messy race, so he could.
"Sancta Simona is a very exciting mare and will love this ground. We're expecting a very big run out of her.
"It doesn't look the strongest of Grade Ones, so hopefully they'll both run well."
McManus is also represented by the Joseph O'Brien-trained Triplicate.
Gigginstown have Noel Meade's Daly Tiger, Henry de Bromhead's Due Reward and Gordon Elliott's Tintangle.