Hurricane Fly will not return to the scene of his finest hour this weekend as he will miss the Grade One Dobbins and Madigans Morgiana Hurdle on Sunday.
Easily one of the classiest hurdlers around at the moment, the five-year-old has been prone to niggly injuries and will be forced to miss the Punchestown engagement this weekend and a mouth-watering clash with Solwhit.
Willie Mullins said yesterday: "We are just not happy with him at the moment and the delay will unfortunately mean we will have to miss the Dobbins and Madigans Hurdle this weekend."
Solwhit is on course to make his seasonal debut for Charles Byrnes and Davy Russell.
Winner of the Morgiana 12 months ago, Byrnes has admitted that his stable star will come on for the run as he sets out on a Champion Hurdle campaign.
"He is in good form and the ground will suit him. He did very well over the summer and is carrying more condition," Byrnes revealed.
The absence of Hurricane Fly may open the door for Colm Murphy to let his star mare Voler La Vedette take her chance in the race.
Murphy said: "There is every chance that she will run and obviously the fact that Hurricane Fly doesn't start would influence that."
Meanwhile, Ruby Walsh has earmarked a return to the saddle in 12 weeks time following the double fracture of his right leg in a fall on Saturday. "I reckon I'm looking at 12 weeks out," Walsh said. "One newspaper said I could be out for six months -- but I haven't broken my neck!"