Hanlon hoping Leader can test Mikael
(Healy Racing Photos)
Mikael D'Haguenet was a comprehensive winner when the pair met over hurdles at Punchestown on New Year's Eve in 2011, but has had his jumping issues since tackling fences.
Western Leader was initially retired after breaking down at Aintree in the spring of 2010, but has been nursed back to health by his trainer and made a winning debut over fences at Fairyhouse last time.
Hanlon said: "The last time we met Mikael D'Haguenet it was our lad's first run in almost two years and hopefully we're in better shape now.
"We were delighted with him the last day in Fairyhouse and I think he has come on since then and his jumping seems good.
"We know Mikael D'Haguenet is a class horse, but our horse is a class horse on his day and we'll have a go at him.
"It's a good little race."
A four-runner field is completed by He'llberemembered and Tabhachtach.
Ante-post favourite My Tent Or Yours has been allotted 11st in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on February 9.