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Last Updated: February 18, 2013 3:23pm
Thousand Stars: The one to beat in the Boyne Hurdle
Thousand Stars bids to make his first appearance at Navan a winning one when he lines up in the Ladbrokes Boyne Hurdle on Tuesday.
The nine-year-old has to give weight all round due to winning the Grade One French Champion Hurdle.
He was last seen finishing second behind his brilliant stablemate Hurricane Fly in the Irish Champion Hurdle and trainer Willie Mullins believes the grey is approaching his peak.
"Hopefully he's back to his best form. He's not run in Navan before, but I'm sure it's a track he will be well able to handle," said the County Carlow handler.
"While he has got winners' penalties, I think he is getting into better form, so I hope it's a nice opportunity for him."
Mullins also saddles On His Own, who has his first start since last year's John Smith's Grand National as his preparation for another crack at the Aintree showpiece gathers pace.
"I think he'll handle the ground. It's a nice introduction to get him back before the National and he won't be as at home over hurdles as he is over fences, but I have to start him somewhere," said Mullins.
Dessie Hughes believes his representative, Si C'Etait Vrai, has it all to do against Thousand Stars. "He's a very nice horse but he has a tough task against Willie's horse," said the County Kildare trainer.
"Thousand Stars is not far off Champion Hurdle class. It seems like (in) all these conditions races you have to beat one of Willie's. This looks the right race for him and he won well the last day.
"Anything from two and a half miles to three is fine, he's qualified for the Pertemps Final at Cheltenham and he'll probably run."
Thyestes Chase winner Jadanli has his first run over hurdles for three years before being aimed at the Irish Grand National; his trainer Paul Gilligan said: "He's going over hurdles for a change of scenery.
"He's in good form but we're taking on Thousand Stars and On His Own. I do not expect him to win, but hopefully he will return home safe and sound. The Irish National is still the plan for him.
"I thought about running him in the Bobbyjo Chase but decided against it. If Cheltenham turned up soft, he might run in the JLT Handicap Chase."