Preview Punchestown 31st Dec

Sun 30th Dec 2012, 14:20

Solwhit is the star attraction at Punchestown, providing the meeting passes an inspection, as he makes a belated return to action in the Follow Punchestown On Facebook Hurdle.

The Charles Byrnes-trained eight-year-old hasn't been seen since chasing home Hurricane Fly in the 2011 Irish Champion Hurdle and the six-time Grade One winner has his sights lowered as he starts back on the comeback trail.

However, he will need to be pretty forward on his return to see off the challenge of Bog Warrior, a Grade One-winning chaser who returned to hurdles with a facile success over this trip at Fairyhouse at the start of the month.

Staying Article, who looks in need of this step up in trip, and classy Flat performer Simenon add further spice to an intriguing feature.

The www.punchestown.com Handicap Hurdle sets a tricky puzzle for punters to solve, but Miriam's Dream sure to have his supporters.

Tony Martin's inmate is open to further progress following his maiden success and an initial mark of 116 looks fair, while the burden of top-weight is unlikely to prevent the hat-trick seeking Shrapnel going well.

Civena and Call Rog have been running well in defeat and are other likely contenders.

You Know Me is sure to be a warm order to get favourite backers off to a flyer in the Buy Your 2013 Annual Membership Beginners Chase, which kicks off the seven-race card at 12.35.

Having given the exciting Boston Bob a real scare on his chasing bow at Navan recently, many will fancy Henry De Bromhead's gelding to get the better of Ipsos Du Berlais and Vesper Bell.

Luke's Benefit may not have to find much on his silver medal at Fairyhouse to land the derekoneill.com Handicap Chase (0-116), while Fatcatinthehat has a good opportunity to go one better than his promising debut second in the Festival Hospitality On Sale 3-Y-O Maiden Hurdle.

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THE IRISH TIMES