Willie Mullins has had some outstanding Champion Hurdlers during his training career but he has said that his Supreme Novices Hurdle winner Klassical Dream last year is up there with the best of them.
Mullins has another potential runner in the race in Saldier who he also says should not be overlooked but his Supreme Novice Hurdle winner has now been installed as the favourite for the Grade One contest at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival.
This comes after the sad the passing of Gavin Cromwell's 2019 Champion Hurdle winner Espoir D'Allen earlier last week that was such sad news for the racing world but off the back of that Klassical Dream is now at the top of the market and Mullins reports he has summered very well.
(Credit Racing Post) The trainer said: "Klassical Dream has done well over the last few months and he looks very well. He didn't do anything wrong last season and you would like to think he looks as good as some of our past champion hurdlers."
Mullins in the past has decided to send his Supreme winners straight over fences like in the cases of Champagne Fever, Vautour and Douvan in 2013, 2014 and 2015 but with last year's winner he is keeping over hurdles.
There are plenty of race where his Grade One could start his campaign off this season but his trainer is looking closely at the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown on November 19th with Fairyhouse and Down Royal also in the picture.
The trainer added: "He could start off in the Morgiana, but the race at Down Royal is definitely an option too and there is the Hatton's Grace at Fairyhouse as well. I don't like to pin mine down to one specific target this early, so we'll keep our options open."
As mentioned before, Saldier was primed for a big run in the 2019 Champion Hurdle but never made it to the festival after falling on is seasonal debut at the last flight when looking like he was going to beat Espoir D'Allen in a Grade 3 hurdle at Naas last November.
He has caught Mullins eye at home and at 33/1 in the current market for the day one feature at Cheltenham he might be worth taking a chance on.
"I know Saldier hasn't run in a while, but nobody has forgotten about him around here, that's for sure," said Mullins. "It's funny, it was only this morning that I commented to someone just how well he looked and how strong he had become. He looks great."
Another of the trainers horses in his arsenal is Melon who has finished second in the past two renewals of the race but this year looks like he will go novice chasing.
"Melon will definitely go over fences and we think he'll be well suited to that discipline," he said.
On Douvan, Kemboy and some of his other horses Mullins added: "Douvan is fine. I didn't give him as long of a break as the others and kept him in work all summer. He seems good and we'll wait until the rain comes later in the season before deciding on a plan for him.
"Kemboy is great and back in work. He paraded at Tramore recently and he was as big as a house, so we'll have to work on that."