Buveur D’Air winning the Champion Hurdle
Image by www.racehorsephotos.co.uk

Buveur D’Air and Defi Du Seuil are possible opponents for Faugheen in the BHP Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown on February 3.

While Nicky Henderson has indicated Sandown’s Contenders Hurdle is a more likely target for current champion Buveur D’Air, he does at least have the option on the opening day of the Dublin Racing Festival.

Philip Hobbs’ Defi Du Seuil needs to rebuild his reputation after a dull return at Ascot.

The same could be said for Faugheen, who was pulled up over Christmas with no subsequent problem found.

There are 17 entries, including the likes of Melon, Yorkhill and Gordon Elliott’s exciting novice Samcro.

The Frank Ward Solicitors Arkle Novice Chase looks at the mercy of Willie Mullins’ Footpad, so impressive in two starts over fences to date.

He is likely to be joined by stablemate Demi Sang, also among the 10 entries.

“Footpad is in great shape, and this race is marked out for him,” said Mullins.

“Hopefully it doesn’t come too soon for Demi Sang. Barry (Geraghty) really liked him in Naas.

“He asked him a hard question against a horse with a lot more experience. He pulled it out when he was asked after the last.”

Pat Fahy’s smart prospect Castlegrace Paddy features among the possible opposition to the Mullins pair.

The Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle over two miles and six furlongs is another option for Samcro.

The likes of Cracking Smart, Real Steel, Getabird, Next Destination and Warren Greatrex’s Challow Hurdle runner-up Mulcahys Hill are other in contention.

The Grade Two Coral Dublin Chase could see a rematch between Simply Ned and Min, with the latter’s stablemate Yorkhill confirmed a likely runner, too.