Willie Mullins, who won this a couple of years ago, has a quartet of entries this time and with Paul Townend on board it's Daneking who can come out best of them after beating a big field at Navan in February. The champion trainer also runs Passage Vendome, who had been chasing before reverting to hurdles and finishing runner-up to the useful Un Beau Matin at Downpatrick. It's two years since HISAABAAT landed the Champion Four Year Old Hurdle at Punchestown and he hadn't won a race subsequently until scoring on the Flat at Limerick 10 days ago. Now back in form he's taken to complete a quick double. Steps To Freedom is a very high-class performer who is having his first ever run in a handicap over hurdles. He hasn't been seen since August and connections will be hoping the ground dries out. Aladdins Cave hasn't had much racing over the past couple of years but attracted good support on his latest start at last year's Galway Festival and won with something in hand. Colm Murphy will have him spot-on and he's definitely on the short-list. Coffee hasn't run since runner-up in a Listed contest at Market Rasen last July and is another who has been waiting for better ground.
Steps To Freedom (IRE) 8-11fav (11-12) Chased leaders, 4th halfway, improved to lead and strongly pressed entering straight, slight mistake and disputed 3 out, ridden next, headed run-in, no extra closing stages, 2nd of 13, 1l behind Saint Gervais (11-12) at Killarney 2m 1f beg chs gd in Aug.
Midnight Game 11-2 (11-10) Tracked leaders in 3rd, ridden and dropped to 5th 3 out, soon weakened, last of 6, well behind Sailors Warn (11-0) at Leopardstown 2m 2f hdl sft in Mar.
Art Of Payroll (GER) 13-2 (11-4) Held up towards rear, headway when not fluent 3 out, chasing leaders when short of room and bumped before 2 out, no impression after, one pace, 6th of 10, 15l behind Josses Hill (11-4) at Aintree 2m nov hdl G2 (1) gs.
False Economy (IRE) 12-1 (11-10) Settled in rear of mid-division, slight mistake 4th, ridden before 2 out and no impression from early straight, kept on one pace, 7th of 11, 9l behind City Slicker (10-6) at Punchestown 2m hcp hdl 0-140 in Nov.
Sailors Warn (IRE) 5-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders in 5th, closer in 3rd on outer 2 out, improved into 2nd travelling well entering straight, ridden to lead at last, stayed on well run-in, won at Leopardstown 2m 2f hdl sft in Mar beating Thousand Stars (11-10) by 1l, 6 ran.
Ally Cascade (IRE) 7-1 (11-0) Chased leaders, 4th into straight, closed into 2nd before 2 out, no extra and kept on same pace from last, 4th of 16, 3 1/2l behind Jennies Jewel (10-11) at Navan 2m 4f hcp hdl in Dec.
Coffee (IRE) 9-2fav (10-10) Held up in touch, headway before 3 out, went 2nd soon after, ridden before 2 out, slight chance before last, kept on and held run-in, 2nd of 14, 1 1/2l behind Sea Lord (11-1) at Market Rasen 2m 1f Listed hcp hdl (1) gd in Jul.
Hisaabaat (IRE) 16-1 (10-4) Settled behind leaders early, 9th halfway, ridden before 2 out, under pressure in 10th 2 out, 8th last, kept on one pace, 5th of 20, 9l behind Missunited (10-8) at Galway 2m hcp hdl sft in Aug.
Darwins Fox (FR) 10-1 (11-12) Always last, detached from 3rd, no impression from 4 out, weakened, last of 6, well behind Mount Colah (11-4) at Leopardstown 2m 1f nov chs sft in Mar.
Daneking 4-5fav (11-11) Tracked leaders and led 4th, ridden to assert approaching last where slight mistake, under pressure and kept on run-in, won at Navan 2m mdn hdl hvy in Feb beating Drumlee (11-12) by 1 1/2l, 22 ran.
Joxer (IRE) 11-2 (11-2) Towards rear, moderate 5th 6 out, pushed along from 4 out, soon no impression, 5th of 6, 33l behind Rebel Fitz (11-12) at Cork 2m 4f hdl hvy in Mar.
Kylestyle (IRE) 9-1 (11-3) Raced in 3rd, under pressure 2 out, dropped to 5th and no extra from before last, 5th of 6, 13l behind Real Steel (11-4) at Naas 2m nov hdl G2 (1) in Feb.
Stocktons Wing (IRE) 5-1 (11-0) Raced last of the 6, niggled along 5th, no extra straight, last of 6, 35l behind Diakali (11-0) at Punchestown 2m 4yo hdl Grade 1 (1) hvy in Apr '13.
Passage Vendome (FR) 9-2 (11-5) Chased leader in 2nd, ridden and no impression last, kept on same pace, 2nd of 4, 7l behind Un Beau Matin (11-5) at Downpatrick 2m 2f hdl sft in Mar.
Bally Longford (IRE) 11-2 (11-10) Tracked leaders, challenged and on terms 2 out, soon headed and no impression, kept on same pace, 5th of 12, 13l behind Lots Of Memories (10-9) at Listowel 2m 4f nh nov hdl sft in Sep.
Bishopslough (IRE) 13-2 (11-10) Towards rear, some progress into 7th briefly 3 out, pushed along and no extra before next, weakened, 10th of 15, well behind Sort It Out (10-7) at Gowran Park 2m 4f hcp hdl hvy in Mar.
To Choose (IRE) 11-1 (11-10) Prominent, 2nd 4 out, ridden in 2nd after 3 out, dropped to 6th 2 out, no impression, 6th of 22, 33l behind Waxies Dargle (11-10) at Fairyhouse 2m mdn hdl sft in Jan.
Aladdins Cave 9-2fav (10-13) Tracked leaders, closed into 2nd before straight, led and stayed on well run-in, won at Galway 2m hcp hdl 8Evens23 gd in Jul beating Admiral Hawke (10-3) by 2l, 20 ran.
Wooly Tom (IRE) 8-1 (10-8) Soon disputed lead, raced on outer, led 2nd, headed from next, remained prominent, no impression in 3rd and kept on same pace from before last, 3rd of 10, 7l behind Getoutwhenyoucan (10-2) at Limerick 2m hcp hdl hvy in Mar.