Hurricane Fly set for Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham

Hurricane Fly
Hurricane Fly beat old rival and 2014 Champion Hurdle winner Jezki at Leopardstown on Sunday

Hurricane Fly is "all go" for Cheltenham after winning a record fifth Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown, according to trainer Willie Mullins.

The 11-year-old, ridden by Ruby Walsh, secured victory in Ireland on Sunday.

"He's beaten the reigning English (Champion Hurdle) champion three times this season," Mullins said.

Mullins is now likely to run both Hurricane Fly and hot favourite Faugheen in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.

"It's all go for Cheltenham now," Mullins added.

Analysis - BBC horse racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght
"One would have thought now that the Mullins team will run both Hurricane Fly and hot favourite Faugheen in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham. How on earth will Walsh decide which to ride?"

Walsh now faces an agonising decision whether to ride Hurricane Fly at Cheltenham as he bids to win the Champion Hurdle for a third time with the horse, or partner his stable companion and Champion Hurdle favourite Faugheen.

Asked which horse Walsh would ride, Mullins said: "He might ask for my advice on what to ride.

"But first of all you have to get there and we can worry about that on the day."

When Hurricane Fly won the Champion Hurdle in 2013, he became the first horse for 38 years to regain the title. His previous victory was in 2011.

Last year's Champion Hurdle was won by Jezki, ridden by Barry Geraghty for Irish trainer Jessica Harrington.