The last time Mourad and MIKAEL D'HAGUENET met the former gave 2lb and a six-length beating to his stablemate though that was two years ago. He hasn't had much racing subsequently and his two recent comeback runs after a long absence have been very moderate. His rival is usually described as enigmatic after a less than spectacular career over fences, though the fact is thtat he's won nine times over hurdles and was beaten just two lengths by Hurricane Fly in the Grade 1 Morgiana at Punchestown in November. That would obviously be good enough and he's taken to grab victory number 10. The lightly raced and progressive Off The Charts will ensure the Mullins duo don't have things their own way and though only winning narrowly here last time was always travelling nicely and the longer trip will suit. The remaining trio have a mountain to climb on official ratings.
Gold Patrol (IRE) 8-1 (9-12) Chased leaders, 6th halfway, ridden in 5th entering straight, no impression in 4th last, kept on same pace run-in, 5th of 16, 4l behind Jetson (10-5) at Punchestown 3m hcp hdl hvy in Feb.
Off The Charts (IRE) 7-2fav (10-11) Tracked leaders and 6th halfway, progress in 3rd entering straight, challenged approaching last, pushed out to lead run-in and kept on well, won at Thurles 2m 6f Handicap Hurdle (80-123) (4yo+) in Jan beating Kylecrue (9-11) by 3/4l, 11 ran.
Horendus Hulabaloo (IRE) 16-1 (11-1) Chased leaders, 3rd halfway, disputed from 4 out, ridden entering straight, no extra before last, 5th of 7, 13l behind Giantofaman (11-3) at Thurles 2m 4f nov hdl Grade 2 (1) hvy in Feb.
Mikael D'haguenet (FR) 16-1 (11-10) Led, pushed along and challenged entering straight, headed approaching last, no impression and dropped to 3rd run-in, 3rd of 5, 2l behind Hurricane Fly (11-10) at Punchestown 2m hdl G1 (1) in Nov.
Mourad (IRE) 16-1 (11-8) Soon towards rear, reminder after 2nd, hit 4th, pushed along in rear and reminder 5th, soon trailing and no danger, last of 6, well behind Rule The World (11-8) at Naas 2m 3f hdl Gr3 (1) sft in Jan.
The Bishop Looney (IRE) 12-1 (11-10) Tracked leaders, slow 1st, 5th halfway, ridden early straight and not fluent 2 out, no extra before last, weakened, 8th of 9, 25l behind Inis Meain (11-10) at Navan 2m 7f hcp hdl hvy in Feb.