The first of this season's top hurdles events has attracted a very interesting line-up. Willie Mullins has entered the high-class Thousand Stars, who landed a Grade 1 at Auteuil over 3m2f for the second time when last seen in June. He's better over slightly further than this nowadays and with his Grade 1 penalty looks vulnerable. Stablemate Blackstairmountain has a fitness advantage having won on the Flat in August but he's probably due back over fences before long and has already won at the highest level in that sphere. REBEL FITZ has plenty going for him not least that he's progressing at a rate of knots. He was very impressive in beating subsequent winner Fosters Cross at Cork and though taking on better rivals has everything going for him. He holds Captain Cee Bee on their run over the C&D in July and on his later success in the lucrative Galway Hurdle.
Thousand Stars (FR) 15-8fav (10-10) won at Auteuil(FR) 3m 1f hdl G1 sft in Jun beating Nikita Du Berlais (10-1) by 4l, 12 ran.
Captain Cee Bee (IRE) 12-1 (11-5) Held up towards rear, headway on inner into 9th halfway, 6th entering straight and switched left to go 4th at last, kept on under pressure run-in, no impression on first 2 closing stages, 3rd of 20, 2 1/2l behind Rebel Fitz (11-5) at Galway 2m hcp hdl sft in Aug.
Rebel Fitz (FR) 4-11fav (11-8) Settled behind leaders, moderate 4th halfway, 3rd before 6th, closed 4 out, headway to lead approaching 3 out, asserted before next, clear before last, not extended, won at Cork 2m 2f hdl in Aug beating Fosters Cross (11-2) by 4 1/2l, 6 ran.
Burrenbridge Lodge (IRE) 11-1 (11-5) Mid-division, headway into 3rd after 3 out, improved to lead before 2 out, clear before last where slight mistake, easily, won at Listowel 2m 4yo hcp hdl hvy in Sep beating Mulleady (10-8) by 6l, 16 ran.
Blackstairmountain (IRE) 5-1 (10-11) Mid-division, 8th 3 out, soon ridden, 5th next, kept on without threatening from last, 3rd of 20, 17l behind Bob Lingo (10-3) at Galway 2m 6f hcp chs gd in Aug.
Miley Shah (IRE) 25-1 (11-1) Soon disputed lead and clear of remainder, in front approaching 4th, soon went on alone, reduced lead from before straight, hit 2 out, pressed and not fluent last, soon headed, rallied, not quite get back to winner, 2nd of 6, hd behind Rattan (11-12) at Listowel 2m hdl sft in Sep.
Owega Star (IRE) 25-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders on inner, 4th 3 out, 3rd next, no extra from early straight, kept on one pace, 4th of 11, 14l behind Boston Bob (11-10) at Leopardstown 2m 4f nov hdl Grade 2 (1) sft in Jan.
One Cool Shabra (IRE) 12-1 (11-0) Led, ridden and headed before 2 out where slight mistake in 4th, no extra and kept on one pace, 5th of 16, 23l behind Burrenbridge Lodge (11-5) at Listowel 2m 4yo hcp hdl hvy in Sep.
Clarach (IRE) 11-2 (11-7) Held up, 7th 3 out, closer in 5th travelling well next, went 3rd and ridden from last, no extra run-in, 3rd of 12, 4 1/2l behind Blazing Tempo (11-7) at Gowran Park 2m 4f hdl gd in Sep.