Willie Mullins is leaning towards running Faugheen rather than Annie Power in the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown on Sunday week.

Faugheen was a brilliant winner of the Grade One contest last January, but was unable to defend his crown in the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival due to injury.

In his absence, Annie Power was supplemented for the two-mile showpiece at Prestbury Park and became the first mare to win the Champion Hurdle in 22 years.

Neither horse has been seen in action so far this season, but Mullins issued an upbeat bulletin on their progress at Thurles on Thursday.

"Both worked nicely this morning, so I'm very pleased with them," said the champion trainer.

"Both horses are pleasing me a lot more now than they have been, so we're well on course with both of them at the moment."

Elaborating on plans, Mullins told At The Races: "We'll see how they go between now and then. What I'd like to do is get Faugheen there (Irish Champion Hurdle) and probably get Annie Power to that mares' race in Punchestown she won last year.

"That would be the ideal scenario."

Watch live coverage of racing from Leopardstown, including the €100,000 Coral.ie Hurdle, from 1330 on RTÉ2 this Sunday.