THOUSAND STARS is generally to be found at Grade 1 level, usually chasing home Hurricane Fly as he did here in December, so this is a huge drop in class and he should gain his first success since the French Champion Hurdle in 2012. His stable companion Midnight Game has also been a regular behind the great champion and was closer to him than the selection at Punchestown in November though his overall form isn't quite as strong. He's also quite closely matched with Joxer, who has promised a great deal but hasn't had much racing over the past couple of years. Sailors Warn has a poor strike-rate for a horse who finished a close third in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham in 2012 but the reappearance of Busty Brown is worth watching as he landed a Navan Grade 2 in November 2012 and hasn't been seen since runner-up to Pont Alexandre the following month.
Busty Brown (IRE) 8-1 (11-10) Waited with, closer in 3rd before straight, no impression from before 2 out, left moderate 2nd from last, 2nd of 5, 13l behind Pont Alexandre (11-6) at Navan 2m 4f nov hdl G1 (1) hvy in Dec '12.
Midnight Game 10-1 (11-4) Chased leader, moderate 2nd halfway, ridden and no impression entering straight, closer but no chance with winner before last, kept on one pace, 2nd of 4, 16l behind Un De Sceaux (11-7) at Gowran Park 2m hdl G2 (1) hvy in Feb.
Thousand Stars (FR) 25-1 (11-10) Led, headed after 1st and soon chased leader in moderate 2nd, 3rd 4 out, dropped to rear before 2 out, ridden and no impression 2 out, last of 5, 14l behind Hurricane Fly (11-10) at Leopardstown 2m hdl G1 (1) sft in Dec.
Joxer (IRE) 25-1 (11-5) Prominent, led 4th until headed next, ridden in 5th from 2 out, kept on same pace, 4th of 28, 9l behind Abbey Lane (10-8) at Leopardstown 2m hcp hdl 0-145 hvy in Jan '13.
Sailors Warn (IRE) 14-1 (11-10) Towards rear, closer in 11th when hampered 2 out, kept on one pace in straight, 9th of 15, 20l behind Never Enough Time (10-11) at Leopardstown 2m hcp hdl 0-140 in Feb.
Burn And Turn (IRE) 7-1 (10-11) Held up in 5th, ridden and no impression after 3 out, weakened and tailed off, 5th of 6, well behind Upsie (11-3) at Punchestown 2m 4f hdl hvy in Feb.