Sharjah absolutely loves the Grade 1 Matheson Hurdle, winning the races last three renewals and he heads to Leopardstown again to retain his crown and win it for a record fourth time in a row.
He clearly thrives at this time of year and in this race especially, saving his best form for the Christmas 2-mile feature, beating Klassical Dream in 2019, Samcro in 2018 and Saint Roi in last years renewal, winning the three races by a combined 9 lengths.
Willie Mullins has his horses flying like always (16 winners in his last 41 runners, 39% strike rate in the last 14 days) and Patrick Mullins keeps the ride on him, which is great news as Patrick has ridden the horse to victory in his last three Matheson Hurdle wins.
Sharjah was a winner last time out on his seasonal reappearance in the Grade 1 Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown in November, beating two younger prospects in fine style.
He looks the one to beat in this as he bids to win the race for a fourth time in a row.