MOURAD won this a year ago beating the previous year's winner Powerstation by 2l. The outcome of that particular battle should be the same and though Willie Mullins' charge was put in his place by the admirable Voler La Vedette at Fairyhouse last time he had the mare behind over this trip in the World Series Hurdle at Punchestown in May and can come out on top again. The champion trainer is also represented by the progressive Dare To Doubt, having her first start beyond 2m4f, and the chaser Shakervilz, who is probably here to make the pace. Karabak was behind Voler La Vedette at Navan and his overall form falls just short of this level.
Karabak (FR) 12-1 (11-10) Held up towards rear, ridden into 6th 3 out, no impression in 5th before next, kept on one pace, 5th of 8, 11l behind Voler La Vedette (11-3) at Navan 2m 4f hdl G2 (1) in Nov.
Mourad (IRE) 5-4fav (11-10) Tracked leader in 2nd, headway to challenge entering straight, ridden and no impression in 3rd approaching last, 2nd on run-in and kept on same pace under pressure without threatening winner, 2nd of 4, 4l behind Voler La Vedette (11-3) at Fairyhouse 2m 4f hdl G1 (1) sft.
Powerstation (IRE) 8-1 (11-10) Raced 3rd, close 3rd on outer 3 out, ridden and disputed lead briefly 2 out, soon no impression, 3rd of 4, 14l behind Zaidpour (11-12) at Navan 2m 4f hdl G2 (1) hvy.
Shakervilz (FR) 8-1 (11-6) Held up towards rear, headway approaching 4 out, 9th 3 out, soon no extra, 11th of 24, 38l behind Shakalakaboomboom (10-13) at Punchestown 3m 1f hcp chs 0-145 in May.
Voler La Vedette (IRE) 7-4 (11-3) Held up in touch, headway on outer to challenge 2 out, soon led and asserted before last, kept on well run-in, won at Fairyhouse 2m 4f hdl G1 (1) sft beating Mourad (11-10) by 4l, 4 ran.
Dare To Doubt 5-1fav (11-7) Held up towards rear, headway into 6th 2 out, 5th entering straight, improved to lead approaching last, ridden and kept on strongly run-in, won at Punchestown 2m hcp hdl 0-140 sft in Nov beating Capellanus (11-0) by 3l, 14 ran.