punchestown 18th Nov
The return of Hurricane Fly is the highlight on a brilliant seven-race card at Punchestown.
Willie Mullins' star has missed the last two renewals of the Dobbins & Madigans At Punchestown Morgiana Hurdle, having finished third in 2009, but he returns to action having looked back to his best here in April.
Old rival Go Native is a fascinating contender back at the top table following a blistering success on the Flat, while Unaccompanied is a very smart mare on testing ground and Captain Cee Bee showed the fire still burns within at Tipperary last month.
Mullins will also harbour high hopes for Back In Focus, a wide-margin winner at Listowel in September, and he is likely to be all the rage in the Florida Pearl Novice Chase.
The champion trainer may have to settle for a supporting role with Twinlight in the AGK Displays Craddockstown Novice Chase, as seriously progressive six-year-old Baily Green and Jessie Harrington's recent course winner Oscars Well provide stiff opposition.
The latter was placed three times at the highest level over timber last term and, getting weight from the aforementioned duo, looks the one to beat.
The meeting starts at 12.35 with the INH Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle and the Mullins-trained Pride Ofthe Parish has Road To Riches to beat.
Noel Meade thinks a lot of the latter and it's not hard to see why judged on last month's bumper romp at Naas.
Meade's Maxim Gorky found just Kalellshan too good at Galway in the summer and doesn't appear too badly treated resuming off 6lb higher in the Punchestown On TG4 At 9.20 Next Saturday Handicap Hurdle.
Lady Olwyn tops the weights for the RSM Farrell Grant Sparks Supporting Longford GAA Handicap Hurdle, while Rough Justice could round off a good day for Mullins by taking the Dick Grainger Memorial (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race.
Seabass and Miley Shah competed at the November meeting at Ballinaboola in 2011 whilst Brindisi Breeze won a divide of the five and six year old geldings maiden at Loughrea over twelve months ago. Winners from the 2012 editions of those County Wexford and Galway meetings, were the headline-makers from last evening's Brightwells Sale at Cheltenham.