Mikael has plenty going for him in this class

THE notion Mikael d’Haguenet might one day develop into a Cheltenham Gold Cup horse has long been forgotten, but he retains a fair amount of ability and is the nap choice in the Trinity Motor Neuron Disease Research Hurdle at Fairyhouse this afternoon.

His career over fences was a disaster and it is no great surprise the former Cheltenham festival hero has been returned to this game.

He made his seasonal debut in the Grade 2 Lismullen Hurdle at Navan last month and, rather surprisingly, went off favourite.

The selection ran well enough to finish third behind Voler La Vedette and Fully Funded, after tiring somewhat in the straight.

We know he is nowhere near the horse he once was, but will be all the better for the Navan outing and has plenty going for him in this class.

Willie Mullins trains Mikael d’Haguenet and can also supply the answer to the Johnny Lumley Arkle Groom Lifetime Achievement Beginners Chase with Sir Des Champs.

The ex-French horse won his only two races last season, at Navan and Cheltenham, but was only marking time over hurdles and this was always going to be his game.

At Fairyhouse tomorrow Voler La Vedette gets the vote in the Bar One Racing Hatton’s Grace Hurdle. She emphasised her current well-being with a smooth performance at Navan to easily win the Lismullen Hurdle.

Mourad has 2lbs in hand of Voler La Vedette at the weights, but lacks a recent run and that may well prove crucial!

Sous Les Cieux gets the nod in the Bar One Racing Royal Bond Novice Hurdle, having came back from a broken pelvis to win a modest maiden hurdle on this track last month.

There is no real evidence as yet that Sous Les Cieux is a good horse, but certainly he shapes like one and, hopefully, can finally begin to prove such thinking correct.

The Bar One Racing Drinmore Novice Chase is probably best left to First Lieutenant. He showed his true colours at Cheltenham in March when winning the Neptune Investment Management Novice Hurdle.

That represents high-class form, considering the next three places were filled by Rock On Ruby, So Young and Oscars Well.

First Lieutenant has yet to convince over fences, but the fact Davy Russell prefers him to Bog Warrior has to be taken into account. Bog Warrior made a huge impression when slamming subsequent winner, Flemenstar, at Navan and it will be fascinating to see how he fares.

Our Victoria, in front when falling two out in the Grade 3 conditions chase won by Blazing Tempo at Clonmel, gets the nap in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares’ Handicap Chase.

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