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Un De Sceaux could be set to go head to head with French superstar Blue Dragon in this Sunday's French Champion Hurdle at Auteuil as both were among 12 horses remaining after the latest forfeit stage.
The Willie Mullins-trained mount proved his stamina after winning over two-and-a-half miles in the Prix La Barka at the same venue last month, with Mullins suggesting then that he could give him a run out in the Champion Hurdle.
Some put his success that day down to the soft ground, with co-owner Colm O'Connell saying: "I hope this sun we've been having stays away from Auteuil, but I'd be very surprised if the ground wasn't soft given the rain they've had in France.
"Barring a situation like we had before the Tingle Creek, we're definitely running and it looks like we're taking on Blue Dragon.
"He's looked a serious horse so far and the one to beat, but we're looking at it that we can't really lose. If he doesn't stay we can keep him to races over two miles and two and a half, if he does stay he can then go anywhere.
"I genuinely don't think the trip is an issue for him. Ruby keeps telling us he is bred for three miles - I honestly think it's all about the ground.
"The only races he has been beaten in (when he hasn't fallen) are when the ground has not been soft. He's near enough unbeatable when it's soft."
Mullins may also run two-time winner Thousand Stars and mare Whiteout, while Paul Nicholls has Ptit Zig and Silsol still in the mix along with Gary Moore's Ubak.
There is a further forfeit stage on Thursday with the final field confirmed on Friday.
By: Kieran O'Daly