Four past winners among entries for 2009 Champion Hurdle

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  • The winners of the past five Cheltenham Champion Hurdle races could be set to battle it out against each other in this year’s race.

    Hardy Eustace (2004/2005), Brave Inca (2006) Sublimity (2007) and Katchit (2008) are all among the 34 entries for the race — to be run on Tuesday 10 March.

    The current ante-post favourite is the Nicky Henderson-trained Binocular, owned by JP McManus, while Paul Nicholls will be looking his first Champion Hurdle win with his leading chance Celestial Halo, owned by the Stewart Family.

    Andy Stewart said: “I was very impressed with Binocular and you can see why he’s a short-priced favourite for the race, having beaten Celestial Halo by seven lengths at Aintree in April and then by four and a half lengths at Ascot in the Boylesports.com International.

    “Even though it was Celestial Halo’s first run of the season, Binocular still looks the one to beat.”

    Other notable entries in the race include last year’s 2nd and 3rd Osana and Punjabi as well as Irish contenders the Irish Champion Hurdle winner Sizing Europe and Grade One winners Jered, Catch Me and Harchibald.

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