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2016 Champion Hurdle runners - The full field for Tuesday's big race at Cheltenham

Jon Wilde in Tues. 14th March 14 Mar 2016
  • Twelve runners will go to post for the 2016 Champion Hurdle
  • Annie Power set to start favourite for trainer Willie Mullins
  • Get the details about all the Cheltenham runners and riders
Annie Power (left) will start favourite for the 2016 Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival (credit: Cheltenhampro.com)

A field of 12 is set to line up for the 2016 Champion Hurdle, in which Annie Power and Nichols Canyon are the Willie Mullins-trained deputies for last year’s injured one-two Faugheen and Arctic Fire on day one of the Cheltenham Festival.

Setbacks within the last few weeks have ruled out the 2015 winner and runner-up so Mullins, owner Rich Ricci and jockey Ruby Walsh instead rely upon Annie Power, who has been switched from the Mares’ Hurdle which is the following race on Tuesday’s card.

The all-conquering Irish trainer saddled the first three home in the Champion Hurdle last season with Hurricane Fly completing the leading trio and has a chance of repeating the achievement this time, because along with Annie Power he also fields Nichols Canyon (ridden by Paul Townend) and Sempre Medici (David Mullins).

Annie Power’s only two defeats of her 15-race career so far have come at the Cheltenham Festival, finishing second in the 2014 World Hurdle and then falling at the last flight of last year’s Mares’ Hurdle when well in command.

On her seasonal reappearance at Punchestown, Annie Power wore a hood and also works in one at home but the headgear has not been declared for Cheltenham.

Nicky Henderson has five runners in the race with My Tent Or Yours, who was beaten a neck by Jezki in the 2014 Champion Hurdle, set to have his first race for 703 days.

Now a nine-year-old, My Tent Or Yours will be ridden by Barry Geraghty, Daryl Jacob has chosen Top Notch over Peace And Co who is instead partnered by Nico de Boinville, while Mark Walsh is on Hargam and Andrew Tinkler takes the mount aboard Sign Of A Victory.

The Irish challenge is bolstered by Henry de Bromhead’s Identity Thief (ridden by Bryan Cooper) who is vying for second favouritism behind Annie Power with Nichols Canyon and The New One, who has finished third and fifth in the last two Champion Hurdles for father-son trainer-jockey team Nigel and Sam Twiston-Davies.

The field is completed by Robert Walford’s Camping Ground and Neil King’s Lil Rockefeller who, like Annie Power, was supplemented for the race last week.


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2016 Champion Hurdle runners - The full field for Tuesday's big race at Cheltenham

A field of 12 is set to line up for the 2016 Champion Hurdle, in which Annie Power and Nichols Canyon are the Willie Mullins-trained deputies for last year’s injured one-two Faugheen and Arctic Fire on day one of the Cheltenham Festival.

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