Moylisha Tim will move a step closer to an appearance at the Cheltenham Festival with a prominent showing in the Dorans Pride Novice Hurdle at Punchestown today.
The five-year-old has won twice over hurdles since breaking his duck in a Kilbeggan bumper in early September, including a Grade Three over this three-mile distance at Cork on his penultimate start.
He was last seen finishing second behind Falcon Crest in the Monksfield Novice Hurdle at Navan, and trainer Richie Rath is looking forward to seeing him step back up in trip, with the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle his spring objective.
Moylisha Tim will have to concede weight to five rivals, with champion trainer Willie Mullins responsible for both impressive Fairyhouse winner Up For Review and the unbeaten Nambour.
Gordon Elliott is also double-handed, with Cogryhill and Jetstream Jack in contention, while the Philip Rothwell-trained Ben Button completes the field.
Double Seven, last seen finishing third in the 2014 Grand National, makes his return to action in the Free Festival Upgrade Ticket Offer Hurdle, which also features Seabass, who returned to winning ways for Ted and Katie Walsh 11 days ago, Texas Jack and Embracing Change.
Tramore's fixture for tomorrow has been cancelled and refixed for Sunday week.
Willie Mullins struck gold with his first runner at Taunton as Myska kept her unbeaten record intact in the Happy New Year From totepool Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle.
An impressive winner of a Clonmel bumper before making a successful debut over jumps at Thurles, the five-year-old Myska was a little keen in the early stages before being settled by Ruby Walsh in an extended two-mile contest run in atrocious conditions.
The hat-trick-seeking Jessber’s Dream committed for home early in the straight, but the Irish challenger loomed ominously alongside after jumping the second-last and, although she fluffed her lines at the final flight, with the rail to help she galloped clear for a two-and-a-half-length success.
“Job done. There’s a shortage of mares’ novice hurdles in Ireland. This one cropped up in the programme book and it was Listed, so it’s nice to come with a mare and get some black type,” said Walsh.