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Published: 14:33 | 14/1/16

Un De Sceaux heads Champion hopes


Arkle Trophy winner Un De Sceaux heads the 23 entries for the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival.

Willie Mullins' eight-year-old was an impressive winner of the two-mile feature last March and he will bid to become the 12th horse to win both the Arkle and the Champion Chase.

Mullins has a strong hand in this year's contest with Champagne Fever, Felix Yonger, Twinlight and Mozoltov, while the County Carlow handler also has the option of running Vautour, although he is also entered in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Ryanair Chase.

2013 winner Sprinter Sacre could bid to regain his crown and he is joined in the entries by 2014 hero Sire De Grugy and last year's champion Dodging Bullets.

Henry De Bromhead has entered last year's third Special Tiara and Sizing Granite, while Gordon Elliott is also double-handed with Bright New Dawn and Clarcam.

Other notable entries include Somersby, Simonsig and Captain Conan.

Meanwhile, there are 48 horses in contention for the Ryanair Chase with Vautour one of 22 Irish-trained entries.

It is a record number of entries from Ireland with Mullins responsible for half of the 22. As well as Vautour, he has Champagne Fever, Sir Des Champs, Valseur Lido and exciting mare Vroum Vroum Mag, while Don Cossack and Road To Riches could take in the Grade One if connections decide against a Gold Cup tilt.

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