HURRICANE FLY and Solwhit do battle for the fourth time in just over a year and it should be the former who makes the score 3-1 in his favour. Solwhit came out on top in the Punchestown Hurdle in November of last year when the slow pace was against Willie Mullins' charge, who reversed the form in a brilliant finish to the Champion Hurdle there in April. He came out on top again over 2m4f in the Hatton's Grace at Fairyhouse a couple of weeks ago and his overall pace looks too much for his great rival. Thousand Stars, a close third in the Champion at Punchestown, isn't quite the class of the two principals but should take third place over Luska Lad and Won In The Dark.
Hurricane Fly (IRE) 11-4 (11-10) Settled in mid-division on inner, 5th halfway, closer 3 out, smooth headway to challenge after 2 out, led early run-in, ridden to assert closing stages, won at Fairyhouse 2m 4f hdl G1 (1) sft beating Solwhit (11-10) by 1 1/2l, 11 ran.
Luska Lad (IRE) 5-4fav (11-8) Chased leader in close 2nd, led approaching 5 out, pushed along after 3 out, ridden and headed before 2 out, weakened before last (scoped badly post race), 4th of 6, 9l behind Gimli's Rock (11-2) at Down Royal 2m hdl G2 (1) in Nov.
Solwhit (FR) Evensfav (11-10) Settled in mid-division, 6th halfway, good headway to tracked leaders 3 out, led early straight, strongly pressed approaching last, headed under pressure early run-in, kept on but not match winner, 2nd of 11, 1 1/2l behind Hurricane Fly (11-10) at Fairyhouse 2m 4f hdl G1 (1) sft.
Thousand Stars (FR) 8-1 (10-5) 7th of 15, 2 3/4l behind Young Poli (10-5) at Auteuil(FR) 2m 5f hdl Grd 2 (1) sft in May.
Won In The Dark (IRE) 25-1 (11-4) Raced on inside, in touch, brief effort after 3 out, no impression well before next, tailed off, 5th of 8, 29l behind Silviniaco Conti (11-4) at Ascot 2m 3f hdl G2 (1) gs in Nov.