sport

Hurricane Fly in top form

Willie Mullins reports Hurricane Fly to be in fine form following his impressive Irish Champion Hurdle victory.

While the nine-year-old won two Grade Ones last term, he relinquished his Champion Hurdle title at Cheltenham in what was a slightly disappointing performance.

However, he has been in excellent form this term, winning the Morgiana and Festival Hurdles before his comfortable five-length verdict at Leopardstown last weekend.

Mullins said: "He is fine and has come out of his race very well and is back in the form he was in two years ago. Last year he came in from grass lighter, but this year he has come in stronger and has kept the condition on him."

Hurricane Fly dominates the betting for next month's Champion Hurdle and Mullins also has a strong hand in the novice heats.

Pont Alexandre is unbeaten in two starts this term, winning a Grade Two at Leopardstown last Sunday to book his place in the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle.

Mullins also has Ballycasey in the race, but the dual hurdles winner is set to tackle the three-mile Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle instead.

The trainer said: "Pont Alexandre gallops, stays and does everything right. He doesn't show me his ability at home but that's because we don't get stuck into him much and the plan remains for him to go to the Neptune and for Ballycasey to go for the Albert Bartlett."