Willie Mullins accepts the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle represents the “last chance” for Faugheen to get a run before the Cheltenham Festival.
The brilliant nine-year-old won the race 12 months ago, but he has since been sidelined with a suspensory problem that ruled him out of his defence of the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham last season.
Reigning Champion Hurdle heroine Annie Power is also amongst seven Mullins entries for the Grade One at Leopardstown on January 29, but she has not yet been sighted this season.
“I want to get them out as soon as I can,” Mullins told the Daily Mirror.
“Annie Power has two options – she also has the race at Punchestown (a two-and-a-half-mile mares’ hurdle) that she won last year – before going to Cheltenham.
“But it would be Faugheen’s last chance before Cheltenham.
“They are both well – both are riding out and doing plenty.”