Honeysuckle will face a maximum of 10 rivals in her bid to win the Baroneracing.com Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse on Sunday.
Henry de Bromhead’s mare remains unbeaten in 12 races under rules, including the last two renewals of this Grade One, two Irish Champion Hurdles and the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.
She is set to be sent off at prohibitive odds to make it three in a row this weekend – but there is plenty of quality among her potential opposition, chiefly from the Willie Mullins stable.
He can choose from Klassical Dream, who defied a huge absence to win at the Punchestown Festival, Galway Hurdle winner Saldier and Grade One-winning mare Stormy Ireland.
Gordon Elliott has his own strong team to choose from with Abacadabras and Sire Du Berlais all set, while Ronald Pump, second in this race 12 months ago, could run for Matthew Smith.
Darasso, Latest Exhibition, Sams Profile and Skyace complete the list.
Jessica Harrington’s Lifetime Ambition is one of 12 in the Drinmore Novice Chase.
He made a very impressive chasing debut when he beat Noel Meade’s Beacon Edge at Down Royal and the two could meet again.
Gavin Cromwell’s Gabynako accounted for Fury Road at Fairyhouse recently and are another pair who could clash for a second time in quick succession.
Elliott’s Grand Paradis, who was a faller behind Lifetime Ambition but was not done with on that occasion, and Emmet Mullins’ Cape Gentleman are others of note.
While only nine have stood their ground in the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle it looks sure to be an informative affair.
Cromwell’s My Mate Mozzie has looked classy in two starts over hurdles to date, while Elliott’s Mighty Potter and Three Stripe Life carry tall reputations.
Add in Colm Murphy’s unbeaten Impervious, Joseph O’Brien’s Uhtred and Emmet Mullin’s Crown Major and it will take a smart youngster to prevail.
Peter Roe, general manager of Fairyhouse, said: “We are delighted to see Honeysuckle head a star-studded line up for the fixture which is regarded as the best weekend’s racing in the first half of the season, there is a great strength in depth throughout the entries on both days.
“The ground is currently good, good to yielding in places with showers forecast from midweek on, and there will be fresh ground on each day.”