The great champion HURRICANE FLY won this on his comeback a year ago though it was no easy matter as Go Native, one of just two rivals, was close up when falling at the last. He'll be a little ring-rusty and three of today's four rivals are stablemates and the other, Akatara, is rated 69lb lower. Mikael D'haguenet can no longer be described as enigmatic and not for the first time has had his chasing career aborted to revert to hurdling. Marito is likely to be back chasing after this and Midnight Game was beaten 34l by the champion in the Champion Hurdle on this track in April.
Hurricane Fly (IRE) 1-4fav (11-12) Tracked leaders in 3rd, smooth headway to challenge entering straight and soon led, asserted approaching last and stretched clear run-in, very easily, won at Punchestown 2m hdl G1 (1) hvy in Apr beating Thousand Stars (11-12) by 7l, 6 ran.
Marito (GER) 5-4fav (11-12) Held up towards rear, mistake 5th and slow jump next, 6th 3 out, soon ridden along, progress on outer entering straight, went 2nd before last, kept on under pressure from last, 2nd of 10, 2l behind Rye Martini (11-12) at Punchestown 2m 4f hdl hvy in Apr.
Midnight Game 3-1 (11-7) Waited with towards rear, slight mistake 4 out, improved under pressure into moderate 3rd from before last and no impression, kept on into 2nd without troubling winner run-in, 2nd of 7, 6l behind Captain Cee Bee (11-10) at Tipperary 2m hdl G2 (1) gd in Oct.
Mikael D'haguenet (FR) 8-1 (11-1) Waited with in rear, mistake 5 out, closer in 5th before 2 out, soon no impression, kept on same pace, 5th of 6, 6l behind Arvika Ligeonniere (11-8) at Clonmel 2m 4f chs Grd 2 (1).
Akatara (IRE) 6-1 (11-5) Mid-division, headway entering straight, ridden in 5th 3 out, kept on same pace from next, 4th of 18, 6l behind C'est La Mode (10-9) at Cork 2m 4f mares hcp hdl 80-109 gf in Jul.