Big guns remain in Champion

ALL the leading fancies have stood their ground for the Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle and appear among a total of 19 possibles for the big race on Tuesday.

Hardy Eustace will bid to land his third blue riband - and his fourth consecutive win at the Festival in all - while Brave Inca will attempt to make up the one length he needs to find with the dual champion from last year’s renewal.

Last year’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner Arcalis, Jessica Harrington’s Macs Joy and Tom Mullins’ mare Asian Maze also feature, although the latter is more likely to run in the World Hurdle.

Andrew Balding has supplemented Kingwell Hurdle winner Briareus, while Fiepes Shuffle is set to represent Germany.

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