WILLIE MULLINS insists Faugheen is now a fitter horse than the one who thrilled Ascot racegoers last month - but he still believes the Stan James Champion Hurdle favourite faces a stern test at Kempton next week.
SIGN OF A VICTORY, whose impressive Ascot reappearance success propelled him to ante-post favouritism for the Ladbroke Hurdle, will miss Saturday's showpiece handicap.
THE exciting Un De Sceaux, who lost his unbeaten record when falling at Thurles last time but is still prominent in the betting for the Racing Post Arkle at the Cheltenham Festival, is in line to run at Fairyhouse on Saturday.
THE going for Leopardstown's Christmas meeting, due to feature Cheltenham Gold Cup winners Lord Windermere and Bobs Worth plus Champion Hurdle heroes Hurricane Fly and Jezki, was described on Wednesday morning as yielding to soft.
HARRY TOPPER, quoted at 16-1 for the Coral Welsh Grand National and Lexus Chase over Christmas, will miss both assignments as trainer Kim Bailey is "not that happy" with him.
KAUTO STAR, who lit up the Christmas period with five wins in Kempton's King George VI Chase, was back in the spotlight on Tuesday evening when taking part in a dressage demonstration in London.
KEMPTON clerk of the course Barney Clifford is delighted with the state of the ground as the build up to Boxing Day's William Hill King George VI Chase intensifies.
COLE HARDEN will not run in the Grade 1 Squared Financial Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown on December 28, trainer Warren Greatrex has confirmed.
DAVID PIPE is readying two runners for Saturday's Ladbroke at Ascot, led by the returning Balgarry, not seen since running at the Cheltenham Festival in 2012.
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