Willie Mullins has only won this once in the past 10 years but intends to double that tally with four of the six entries. DIAKALI should prove best of them and come out on top here despite his recent defeats by Our Conor. The front-runner found Cheltenham's ultra-stiff track too much for him in the Triumph Hurdle but this will be more to his liking and he holds Blood Cotil on that latter run. Stocktons Wings also found the Triumph too hot to handle and was earlier behind Blood Cotil at Leopardstown. One Fine Day produced a shock when beating Djakadam and Dogora in a Fairyhouse Grade 3 where the drying ground probably made the difference. It will be a surprise if she can confirm the form in today's much more demanding ground and on worse terms.
Blood Cotil (FR) 20-1 (11-10) Held up in rear, headway approaching 2 out, stayed on flat, unable to reach leaders, 6th of 24, 16l behind Flaxen Flare (10-7) at Cheltenham 2m Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) (4yo) (1) gs in Mar.
Diakali (FR) 10-1 (11-0) Led, joined 2 out, driven and headed between last 2, soon no chance with winner, lost 2nd last, no extra, 4th of 17, 22l behind Our Conor (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m 1f 4yo hdl Grade 1 (1) gs in Mar.
Djakadam (FR) 6-4fav (11-4) Led, joined 3 out, ridden and headed 2 out, soon 3rd, kept on to regain 2nd inside final furlong, 2nd of 4, 3 1/2l behind One Fine Day (10-7) at Fairyhouse 2m hdl Grd 3 (1).
Dogora (FR) 2-1 (11-4) Tracked leader in close 2nd, improved to dispute lead on inner 3 out, ridden and headed 2 out, soon led briefly, headed before last, dropped to 3rd inside final furlong, 3rd of 4, 5l behind One Fine Day (10-7) at Fairyhouse 2m hdl Grd 3 (1).
Stocktons Wing (IRE) 11-1 (11-0) Raced keenly, tracked leaders on inside, driven and outpaced 2 out, soon weakened, pulled up before last, in a race won by Our Conor (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m 1f 4yo hdl Grade 1 (1) gs in Mar, 17 ran.
One Fine Day (IRE) 16-1 (10-7) In touch in last, ridden from 3 out, last 2 out, quickened well to lead before last, stayed on well under pressure run-in, won at Fairyhouse 2m hdl Grd 3 (1) beating Djakadam (11-4) by 3 1/2l, 4 ran.