Hurricane heads Morgiana entries

CHAMPION hurdler Hurricane Fly leads the entries for the Grade 1 Ladbrokes.com Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown on November 20.

The Willie Mullins-trained superstar, who landed both the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham and the Rabobank Champion Hurdle at the Punchestown festival last spring, is set to make his seasonal debut in the main feature of the two-day Ladbrokes.com Winter Festival on November 19-20

Hurricane Fly’s stable companions, So Young and Thousand Stars, also feature among the nine entries.

Another possibility is the Jessica Harrington-trained Oscars Well, who won his maiden at the corresponding fixture a year ago.

Oscars Well then went on to land two Grade 1’s, before heading to Cheltenham where a last flight error arguably cost him the Neptune Investment Novices’ Hurdle.

Charles Byrnes, who has won the Morgiana for the last two years with Solwhit, is likely to be represented by Pittoni.

There are three mares among the entries, with last year’s runner up, Voler La Vedette, joined by Michael Bowe’s Akatara and the Dermot Weld’s Unaccompanied.

Meanwhile Ruby Walsh’s appeal against his five-day ban under the new whip rules will be heard by the disciplinary panel of the British Horseracing Authority at 9.30am today.

Walsh was incensed at being found guilty of using the whip with excessive frequency when snatching a narrow victory on Edgardo Sol in the Betfred Bundles Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase at Aintree on October 22. He was deemed to have hit his mount once more than the permitted eight times.

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