Shot From The Hip wasn't exactly consistent over hurdles but could do no more than win at Group 1 level as he did in the Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown in May. He's always been more likely to make a chaser and he starts off at a relatively low level. However, connections wouldn't have wanted to pitch him against HIDDEN CYCLONE on his debut as Shark Hanlon's charge has the potential to go to the very top of the chasing ladder. A dual Grade 2 winner over timber, he was less than a length behind First Lieutenant and Zaidpour in the Future Champions Novices' Hurdle at this fixture last year and is an exciting prospect. Celtic Folklore has done well in a limited career and is exactly the type Willie Mullins does so well with over fences.
Celtic Folklore (IRE) 5-1 (11-12) Led and clear, reduced advantage halfway, mistake 4 out, ridden and headed entering straight, no extra and kept on same pace, 2nd of 15, 13l behind Kid Cassidy (11-12) at Punchestown 2m nov hdl gd in May.
Hidden Cyclone (IRE) 4-11fav (11-10) Tracked leaders in 3rd, headway to challenge early straight, smooth progress to lead before 2 out, eased clear before last, very easily, won at Navan 2m 7f nov hdl sft in Mar beating Fists Of Fury (10-13) by 13l, 4 ran.
Nearest The Pin (IRE) 7-4 (11-12) Chased leaders, 5th halfway, moderate 4th 3 out, no threat to easy winner, kept on one pace, 3rd of 10, 42l behind Flemenstar (11-12) at Navan 2m 1f beg chs sft in Nov.
Save The Bacon (IRE) 4-1 (12-0) Ld & sn clr, v b mstk 3out, sn hdd & wknd, pu bef last, in a race won by Backstage (12-0) at Kirkistown 3m ire ptp gs in Nov, 11 ran.
Shot From The Hip (GER) 11-2 (11-12) Chased clear leader in 2nd, niggled along 4 out, led after 2 out, ridden clear from last, stayed on strongly, easily, won at Punchestown 2m nov hdl G2 (1) gd in May beating Hidden Universe (11-12) by 9l, 7 ran.
Stonemaster (IRE) 12-1 (9-9) Mid-division on inner, 12th halfway, no extra from 4 out, 10th of 25, 30l behind Groody Hill (10-3) at Navan 3m hcp chs 0-150 sft in Nov.
White Star Line (IRE) 10-11fav (11-12) Chased leaders, 3rd halfway, 5th 4 out, ridden in 3rd before 2 out where bad mistake and unseated rider, in a race won by Call Box (11-5) at Downpatrick 2m 7f beg chs gs in Oct, 12 ran.