The seven-year-old is most frustrating, but performed well enough at Cork last time to indicate that an ordinary contest such as this might finally be within his capabilities.
Taken to the front over the fourth last, Spot Fine certainly shaped as the likely winner for most of the straight. But then he got in tight to the final flight and was eventually run out of it and beaten three parts of a length into second by the favourite, Fairview Star.
The conditions of the McHale Engineering Hurdle are stacked in favour of Willie Mullins’ Darroun and he gets the vote.
The five-year-old will surely make short of the opposition if running to his best, although that is hardly a given.
A relatively recent spin on the flat at Limerick should have left him ready for this test and, hopefully, the market will speak in his favour.
Louis Archdeacon’s Captain Ocana has claims in the McGrath Quarries 50th Anniversary Handicap Hurdle.
He was last seen when winning a beginners chase at Wexford last month, from Shake The Bucket and Playtime Ben, in a contest that has been working out quite nicely.
The Ballinrobe Racecourse Of The Year Bumper may be best left to Kieran Purcell’s Quinville Castle, runner-up to Paul Nolan’s The Mooch at Wexford earlier this month.