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Istabraq will head a team of three horses from Aidan O'Brien's yard in Sunday's AIG Europe Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown.

In addition to the treble-seeking champion, the Ballydoyle trainer is set to run Theatreworld and Yeoman's Point in the big race, which kept just seven horses at yesterday's entry stage.

Tommy Treacy is set to resume his partnership with the threetime champion hurdle runner-up Theatreworld, while Conor O'Dwyer will be given the leg up on Yeoman's Point. Istabraq's big rival, however, will be Limestone Lad, who beat Istabraq over two and a half miles at Fairyhouse in November and is now over the slight skin infection that caused him to miss his last intended engagement in the Proudstown Hurdle at Navan.

'Istabraq is very well and I would imagine the two miles at Leopardstown will be in his favour, but Limestone Lad has come on too,' said O'Brien yesterday.

The sole English challenger left in is Master Beveled, but Dermot Weld's smart novice Stage Affair is an intended runner with Tony McCoy up as he continues his preparation for the Supreme Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham. The other entry is the Michael O'Brien-trained Knife Edge.

Nine horses have been left in the Baileys Arkle Cup, including the Christmas disappointment, Alexander Banquet.

BETTING: (Cashmans): 1-3 Istabraq, 3-1 Limestone Lad, 14-1 Yeoman's Point, 16-1 Stage Affair, 20-1 Theatreworld, 25-1 Knife Edge, 66-1 Master Beveled.

Adrian Maguire gave up his two remaining rides at Doncaster yesterday after partnering Wend's Day into fourth place in the opening Civil Marriage Ceremony Venue Novices' Hurdle.

And Brendan Powell, who was badly injured in a heavy fall at Newton Abbot at the beginning of November, hopes to return to action at Kempton Park on Saturday.