Champagne Fever was a surprise absentee after only three horses were declared for the Dr PJ Moriarty Novice Chase at Leopardstown on Sunday.

The grey had been expected to line-up for the Grade One over two miles and five furlongs ahead of the Racing Post Arkle Trophy, for which he is ante-post favourite.

The seven-year-old, already a dual winner at the Cheltenham Festival, also holds entries there in the RSA Chase and JLT Novices' Chase.
In the Moriarty, trainer Willie Mullins relies on Ballycasey in the same ownership of Susannah and Rich Ricci.

Ballycasey, who has the same engagements as Champagne Fever at Cheltenham as well as the National Hunt Chase, has won his only start so far over fences at Navan in November.

He will be taken on at Leopardstown by the Gordon Elliott-trained Don Cossack and John Kiely's Carlingford Lough.

The pair clashed in the Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse in early December when Don Cossack came out on top by a length and three-quarters.