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Dublin: 8 °C Sunday 20 October, 2019

Laurina out to cement her status as a live Champion player in Quevega Hurdle

Racing gets underway at 1.30pm later this afternoon at Punchestown.

CREDIBLE OPPONENTS TO Buveur D’Air were not obvious until recently, but after Apple’s Jade threw her hat into ring for Champion Hurdle glory after a stunning victory at Leopardstown this month, Willie Mullins will be hoping his star mare Laurina can do likewise today.

Paul Townend on Laurina on their way to winning Paul Townend on Laurina at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

In a Punchestown race which carries the name of the sensational six-time Mares’ Hurdle winner Quevega, Laurina puts her unbeaten record since joining the champion trainer on the line against six rivals.

Mullins, whose six-year-old is owned by Sullivan Bloodstock and is general 7-2 third favourite for the Unibet Champion Hurdle, has won four of the past five runnings, including with subsequent Champion Hurdle winner Annie Power in 2016.

Laurina has run just once this season, finishing 48 lengths ahead of sole rival Sensulano in a Listed mares’ contest at Sandown early last month, but she will face a sterner test of her credentials in the Coral-sponsered contest.

With racing underway at 1.30pm, the ground at Punchestown is good, good to yielding in places.

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