Hurricane Fly heads a select field of just four runners for Sunday's Dobbins & Madigans At Punchestown Morgiana Hurdle.
Willie Mullins' charge lost his Champion Hurdle crown at Cheltenham in March but bounced back to winning form at this venue in April. While the champion trainer has not enjoyed an ideal start to the campaign, with a few horses coughing in his yard, he is satisfied Hurricane Fly is fit enough to do himself justice.
"Hurricane Fly worked well the other day and I'm happy with him. I'd imagine Christmas time (would be his next run after the weekend), but we'll try to take one day at a time. We're slow enough getting out this season. We're getting into gear very slowly now," Mullins told At The Races.
"I'm hoping they stay right. A few were coughing. We had to stop for about a fortnight. I just didn't want to work too many of the horses. That held us up a little bit but, fortunately, it seemed to be the fillies that got sick. One or two of the horses did, but I think that's all gone out of the yard now.
"If we can just keep them right I'd be hoping for the best."
The fact Go Native is even competing in Grade One races again is testament to his trainer Noel Meade. He was sent off favourite for the 2010 Champion Hurdle but sustained an injury and did not return until October, when third in a Flat race, after which he bolted up in a similar event at Galway.
"He seems very well, so we'll have a go at a Grade One. I've been very happy with him at home, and I hope he keeps on improving as he did from his first race back to his second. He was very good the last day but we could do without the rain," said County Meath-based Meade.
Captain Cee Bee has been enjoying something of a resurgence since reverting to hurdles. The Eddie Harty-trained 11-year-old turned in an excellent effort when third in the Galway Hurdle in August before claiming Grade Two glory at Tipperary last month.
"It's a competitive enough race with Hurricane Fly and Go Native in there. They will be hard to beat, but our horse is in good form and he won well in Tipperary last time. He's been a great horse for us over the years. We think he will run well and give a good account of himself," said Frank Berry, racing manager to owner JP McManus.
Dermot Weld's classy dual-purpose runner Unaccompanied completes the Morgiana line-up.
24 April 2015Dettori's a Jack of all trades
McManus at Sandown for McCoy finale
Hymn too good for Richards rivals
AP to keep champion's trophy
McCoy praise for Pipe
Apprentice masters Trial rivals
Custom is a Cut above
Wetherby goes Flat out
Divine Hymn in full cry for Dettori
Mutarakez lands Esher honours
Clouds chasing Gold glory
Nicholls seeking dream McCoy ending
AP preparing for final bow
Enright facing leg surgery
O'Meara mulling Force plans
Temple target for Pretend
Winning return for Walsh
Commemorative takes Trial test
Prince and Parrott bow out
Nicholls eyeing McCoy Celebration
Henderson on weather watch
Riches on Road to Punchestown
Apache on Punchestown trail
High hopes for Creek bow
Time called on Condon career
23 April 2015Arrow hits Beverley target
Cannock chasing Richards riches
Godolphin duo bow out
McCoy has Mole in Sandown camp
Eagle camp play waiting game
No catching Collaboration at Epsom
O'Neill door always open for McCoy
Weather worry for Wadham
Knott appeal dismissed
Millman on weather watch
Marlowe lands Epsom Derby Trial
Bolger sights set on Guineas
Hannon outlines Lockinge options
Hannon preparing Classic charge
22 April 2015Irish Guineas target for Baciata
Gleneagles leads Guineas contenders
Strong support for Commonwealth Cup
No decision on Geraghty return
McCoy set for Box Office farewell
Thrilling Friday card at Sandown
Guineas ruled out for Sympathy
Sherman set for Chrome reunion
Riches and Cossack in Gold equation
Recovering McNamara optimistic
Fly and Jezki set for World battle
Cooper braced for 'emotional' day
Sprinter set for Sandown
Celebration favoured for God's Own
Chiang camp target Middleton return
Dettori booked for Marlowe mount
Geraghty closing in on comeback
Hannon has Great expectations
Own poised to duck Sandown
21 April 2015Niven sweet on Cookie Ripon raid
Fly set to break new ground
Uranna sets sail for Punchestown
McCoy available for Gold runners
Toes points in right direction
Ascot not Newmarket for Ward pair
Maude hails departing McCoy
Options open for Gosden's Ball
Mr Mole lined up for AP race
Judge up for the Cup
Kurland heads direct to Ascot
Lieutenant in line for Punchestown