34 in line for Champion glory

Wed 16th Jan 2013, 12:43

photoHurricane Fly wins the 2011 Champion Hurdle
©Healy Racing Photos
Former winners Rock On Ruby, Hurricane Fly, Binocular and Punjabi feature among 34 entries for the Stan James Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.

The last two named are amomg eight entries for Nicky Henderson who has also engaged Cash And Go, Darlan, General Miller, Grandouet, Khyber Kim and Oscar Whisky.

Hurricane Fly's trainer Willie Mullins also has a strong numerical hand with Midnight Game, Thousand Stars and Zaidpour joining their stablemate in the list.

Donald McCain has three entries, Supreme Novices' Hero Cinders And Ashes joining Overturn and Peddlers Cross who have both been second in hurdling's blue riband.

Champion trainer Paul Nicholls relies on Pearl Swan and Zarkandar while Alan King is tripled handed with Balder Success, Grumeti and Raya Star.

Cause Of Causes (Gordon Elliott), King Of Queens (Thomas Mullins), Trifolium (Charles Byrnes), Hisaabaat (Dermot Weld), Rebel Fitz (Michael Winters) and Steps To Freedom (Jessica Harrington) complete the Irish team while Flying Cross is an intriguing David Pipe entry.

JCB Triumph Hurdle and Fighting Fifth hero Countrywide Flame is set to represent John Quinn while the remaining entries are Claret Cloak, Cotton Mill, Ransom Note, Sadler's Risk and Tango de Juilley.

Fry happy with Ruby

Harry Fry reports Rock On Ruby to be "bigger and stronger" ahead of the defence of his Stan James Champion Hurdle crown.