WILLIE Mullins has confirmed that State Man and Sharjah will take each other on in the Matheson Hurdle at Leopardstown on December 29th and that last season’s star juvenile Vauban will run elsewhere.

State Man, winner of the County Hurdle last March, has already won the Morgiana this term, handling the step up to Grade 1 company with aplomb, while Sharjah has made the Matheson his own in recent years, winning the last four renewals.

Vauban, on the other hand, has not been seen since following up his Triumph Hurdle win at the Punchestown Festival, with Mullins stating after the Morgiana that Vauban “might not be up to Champion Hurdle class this year”.

Speaking on the Nick Luck Daily Podcast Mullins said: “Both State Man and Sharjah will run there (Leopardstown).

“Vauban is still in the mix for there so we’ll find him an easier target as he is only four and we’ll find a four-year-old race for him.

“He’s coming along fine but this time last year he was only coming right. He’s only four, when horses are trained at four they take a bit of time to get over it.

“He’s just taking his time but the spring is far enough away and I’m not too worried about him yet.”