Bishopsfurze landed a Listed contest over 2m6f at Clonmel on testing ground earlier this month with stablemate Skorcher beaten seven lengths into second. The Willie Mullins duo have a rematch here and there's no reason for a form reversal but the winner hardly picked his feet up at the last two flights and will need to jump better to see off HIDDEN CYCLONE. Shark Hanlon's charge has a Grade 2 penalty after comfortably accounting for the Mullins-trained Ballyhaunis over this trip at Leopardstown but he looks a star of the future and gets the vote. Crash had a battle to see off Lambro in a C&D maiden a fortnight ago and will need much better than that and a better bet for a place could be Pineau De Re, a good third behind Gagewell Flyer in a Naas Grade 2 over this trip last month.
Hidden Cyclone (IRE) 7-4fav (11-6) Chased leaders early, led 5th, ridden to assert before last where slight mistake, kept on well run-in, won at Leopardstown 2m 4f nov hdl Grade 2 (1) sft in Jan beating Ballyhaunis (11-3) by 2l, 5 ran.
Bishopsfurze (IRE) 9-10fav (11-9) Tracked leaders, led before 4 out, travelling best from before straight, bad mistake 2 out, hit last, ridden out run-in, won at Clonmel 2m 6f lst nov hdl (4yo+) (1) beating Skorcher (11-6) by 7l, 8 ran.
Crash (IRE) 13-8fav (11-12) Always prominent, disputed lead from 7th, led from 5 out, ridden from 2 out, strongly pressed run-in, kept on well, all out, won at Thurles 2m 6f mdn hdl hvy beating Lambro (11-12) by shd, 18 ran.
Down In Neworleans (IRE) 11-10fav (11-9) Made all, not fluent 4 out, clear before straight, stayed on well, very easily, won at Clonmel 2m Maiden Hurdle (5-6yo) beating Sorted (11-4) by 28l, 18 ran.
Pineau De Re (FR) 4-1 (11-3) Settled behind leaders, 4th halfway, headway into 3rd 4 out, ridden before 2 out, no extra before last, kept on same pace, 3rd of 6, 6l behind Gagewell Flyer (11-3) at Naas 2m 4f nov hdl Grade 2 (1) sft in Jan.
Skorcher (IRE) 11-2 (11-6) Tracked leaders, niggled along 5 out, ridden into 2nd entering straight, no impression and kept on same pace from before last, 2nd of 8, 7l behind Bishopsfurze (11-9) at Clonmel 2m 6f lst nov hdl (4yo+) (1).
Smokey Joe Joe (IRE) 25-1 (11-4) Chased leader, slight mistake 3rd, led approaching straight, not fluent 2 out, stayed on well under pressure run-in, won at Limerick 2m 3f nov hdl hvy in Jan beating Sheer Genius (10-7) by 1 1/4l, 7 ran.
The Pier (IRE) 14-1 (11-11) Tracked leaders in 3rd, 4th before 2 out, no impression in 3rd approaching last, kept on one pace, 3rd of 6, 9l behind So Young (11-11) at Punchestown 2m nov hdl hvy.