Sharjah is set to head Willie Mullins’ three-pronged attack on the Chanelle Pharma Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown on Saturday.
The eight-year-old won the Grade One Matheson Hurdle at the Dublin track for the third successive season at Christmas and will be accompanied by stablemates Saint Roi and Saldier this weekend.
They finished fourth and sixth respectively behind him last time.
“I’m very happy with them and hoping Saldier will run a lot better than he did at Christmas. He seemed to need the run,” said Mullins.
“Saint Roi was a little disappointing, but I think he will improve on that too.
“Sharjah does not need to improve. I hope he doesn’t do what he did last year and make a mistake at the first hurdle down the back, which threw him completely for the rest of the race.”
Chacun Pour Soi will be out to repeat last year’s victory in the Ladbrokes Dublin Chase following his Grade One triumph there over Christmas.
“I was delighted with him at Christmas. We got a run into him down in Cork and that paid off well,” Mullins told a Dublin Racing Festival zoom press call.
“I think he’s in great shape and I’m hoping he’ll be just himself in that race.
“We still have Min there and Tornado Flyer.
“We’ll probably let Min take his chance, but we haven’t fully decided which direction we’re going with Tornado Flyer yet. We’ll see how he works during the week.”
The exciting Energumene heads six Mullins’ entries in the Patrick Ward & Company Solicitors Irish Arkle Novice Chase.
The seven-year-old has created a big impression in winning both his starts over fences.
“He looks a natural chaser. He easily went back to two miles, so I think he has to take his chance here,” said the Closutton trainer.
“Of course we’ll have Franco De Port who won at Christmas as well. Was he a lucky winner? We don’t know. They went a ferocious gallop that day.
“Unexcepted is a good horse over two miles as well, so it will be interesting to see if he turns up.
“Janidil is in the same ownership as Unexcepted, so he might go for a longer race.
“Asterion Forlonge probably won’t go there, even though he was a Grade One winner on the track. As for Blackbow, we’ll see.”
Mullins has yet to finalise his runners for the Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors 50K Cheltenham Bonus For Stable Staff Novice Hurdle over two and three-quarter miles.
He has 10 entries out of a total of 36 possibles and they include Gaillard Du Mesnil, who was impressive over two and a half miles on this course in late December.
“He’s been very good. I think the horse he beat (Mr Incredible) won at Naas on Sunday, so the form is working out well.”
Ganapathi, Shadow Rider, Stattler and Blue Lord may join him in the line-up.