HURRICANE FLY won this a year ago before going on to glory at Cheltenham and Punchestown and it will be a shock if he doesn't repeat the process. He had stablemate Thousand Stars around 5l behind for two of those victories and looks set for his 10th success at Grade 1 level. Oscars Well was around 5l behind Thousand Stars in the Grade 1 Morgiana at Punchestown and was again behind that one when third to Unaccompanied in the Grade 1 Istabraq here last month. While the winner continues her progress and has a hefty allowance all formlines suggest she has a bit to find with a fully-fit champion.
Hurricane Fly (IRE) 1-2fav (11-12) Settled behind leaders, 5th halfway, 4th 4 out, improved into close 3rd 2 out, travelled well to lead before last, pushed out and kept on strongly run-in, easily, won at Punchestown 2m hdl G1 (1) gd in May beating Thousand Stars (11-12) by 5l, 6 ran.
Oscars Well (IRE) 7-1 (11-10) Tracked leaders on inner, 3rd halfway, headway to lead before 3 out, strongly pressed early straight and headed approaching last, no extra and dropped to 3rd run-in, 3rd of 7, 3 1/2l behind Unaccompanied (11-0) at Leopardstown 2m hdl G1 (1) sft in Dec.
Thousand Stars (FR) Evensfav (11-10) Tracked leaders, 4th halfway, 2nd 2 out, ridden in 3rd approaching last where slight mistake, kept on under pressure run-in without reaching winner, 2nd of 7, 1 1/2l behind Unaccompanied (11-0) at Leopardstown 2m hdl G1 (1) sft in Dec.
Kalann (IRE) 5-1 (10-13) Held up in rear, challenged on outer from 3 out, narrow advantage last, kept on under pressure run-in, no extra and headed closing stages, 2nd of 5, 1 1/4l behind The Real Article (11-8) at Down Royal 2m hdl G2 (1) sft in Nov.
Unaccompanied (IRE) 10-3 (11-0) Held up towards rear, headway to go 3rd 2 out, challenged early straight and led before last, driven out and kept on well run-in, won at Leopardstown 2m hdl G1 (1) sft in Dec beating Thousand Stars (11-10) by 1 1/2l, 7 ran.