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Gallagher Novices' Hurdle: Ballyburn the one to beat

Another potential Willie Mullins star could make a statement in Wednesday's opener as Ballyburn goes for glory in the Gallagher Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

One of the main questions in the build-up to the National Hunt showpiece event was whether Ballyburn would run in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle or the newly named Gallagher Novices' Hurdle.

The decision may leave the rest of the field fighting for a place if the favourite can produce another excellent display in the biggest race of his career to date.

Gallagher Novices' Hurdle odds

(Odds will display when markets are available)

Ballyburn

Since being beaten by Firefox on his hurdling debut at Fairyhouse in December, Ballyburn had success over two and a half miles at Leopardstown before successfully reverting to two miles to strike Grade 1 gold at the Dublin Racing Festival in February.

Willie Mullins has the top three in the betting and is very much expecting his six-year-old star to be the one to beat in Wednesday's opener.

Ile Atlantique

Second to Readin Tommy Wrong in the Grade 1 Lawlor's Of Naas, Ile Atlantique certainly has the potential to improve and will be hoping to go one better in the Gallagher Novices' Hurdle.

Predators Gold

With many expecting Ballyburn and Ile Atlantique to be battling for honours, Predators Gold will be desperate to make an impression under jockey Danny Mullins.

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