Zanahiyr and Tritonic head 12 confirmations for Friday’s JCB Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham.
Zanahiyr has been impressive in Ireland this season winning all his three starts and tops the ante-post market, although Alan King’s Tritonic is hot on his heels.
A Royal Ascot runner-up in June, he has won both his outings over hurdles, most recently taking the Adonis at Kempton by 10 lengths.
Quilixios, who raced for Gordon Elliott but is now with Henry de Bromhead, is another unbeaten runner in the colours of Cheveley Park Stud.
Willie Mullins can chose from Haut En Couleurs – unraced since joining the champion trainer having won in France – Saint Sam, Tax For Max and Youmdor.
David Pipe’s Adagio, a Grade One winner already, and Jospeh O’Brien’s Busselton are others in the mix.
Ben Pauling’s The Cob has been supplemented for the Albert Bartlett on the strength of his victory in the River Don at Doncaster.
He is one of 18 possibles with Fakiera, Torygraph and Stattler heading the Irish challenge.
Paul Nicholls has Barbados Buck’s and Threeunderthrufive, Fergal O’Brien also has two likely runners in Alaphilippe and Ask A Honey Bee, while Tom Lacey’s Adrimel is still in.
There are 13 left in the inaugural Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase, with Mullins holding a strong hand through Elimay, Colreevy and Salsaretta.
Grand National runner-up Magic Of Light, previous Festival winner Shattered Love along and Jonjo O’Neill’s Annie Mc are also in contention.
There are 45 confirmations for the McCoy Contractors County Hurdle with Saldier at the head of the weights, while the likes of Cayd Boy, Edwardstone, Drop The Anchor and Third Time Lucki all left in.
A massive 70 horses have been left in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle, with Nicky Henderson’s Monte Cristo and Janika at the head of the weights.
Last year’s hero It Came To Pass tops 19 in the St James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase.
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