sport

Hurricane Fly faces eight rivals

Hurricane Fly will face eight rivals when he bids for a third win in the Stan James Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham on Tuesday.

Willie Mullins' brilliant 10-year-old will be aiming to secure an incredible 20th Grade One success in the feature event on the opening day of the Festival.

Hurricane Fly is the Irish champion trainer's only runner after the expected withdrawals of Annie Power, Un De Sceaux and Thousand Stars.

The New One, representing Nigel and Sam Twiston-Davies, is rated by bookmakers as the biggest threat to Hurricane Fly, while last year's jaw-dropping Triumph Hurdle hero Our Conor has twice run well behind Mullins' champion this season.

Nicky Henderson's My Tent Or Yours and the Jessica Harrington-trained Jezki - who has been declared to wear a hood - are two major contenders for JP McManus, with Captain Cee Bee, a likely pacemaker, also declared for the leading owner.

Jeremy Scott's stable star Melodic Rendezvous, Paul Nicholls' Ptit Zig and the Alan King-trained Grumeti complete the Champion Hurdle field.