The Edward O’Grady-trained five-year-old has a bit to find with Abbyssial on the form of the Grade 1 juvenile race at the Punchestown Festival.
But, in contrast to the Willie Mullins-trained seasonal debutant, Kitten Rock comes into today’s race in top form, on the back of his victory over subsequent winner Glens Melody (made a costly mistake at the last) in a Grade 3 in Naas.
Highly-regarded by his trainer and with a rating of 153, Kitten Rock has plenty of improving to do if he’s to be a Champion Hurdle contender.
But he should be capable of extending his winning sequence here, at the expense of Abbyssial and last year’s Triumph winner Tiger Roll.
A faller at the final obstacle when upsides Don Cossack in the Kinloch Brae at Thurles last time, Champagne Fever should bounce back in the Grade 2 Red Mills Chase.
Re-united today with Paul Townend, who boasts a three-from-three success rate on the grey, Champagne Fever is being aimed at the Queen Mother Champion Chase in the wake of his fourth to Silviniaco Conti in the King George at Kempton.
Texas Jack, fifth in the Hennessy last Sunday, and Bright New Dawn should give Champagne Fever most to do. But the Mullins runner is difficult to oppose.
Runner-up to Knockraha Pylon and Hostile Fire respectively in his last two starts, the Dermot Weld-trained Zafayan should get off the mark in the Shantou At Burgage Stud Maiden Hurdle.
Navan will stage three Grade 2 events tomorrow and the Enda Bolger-trained Gilgamboa, out of his comfort zone when third to Un De Sceaux in the Arkle at Leopardstown last time, should return to winning form in the Flyingbolt Novice Chase.
A winner at Navan and Limerick prior to his Arkle run, Mark Walsh’s mount should successfully concede 6lb. to his rivals.
The Tony Martin-trained Dedigout, winner of the Galmoy in Gowran Park last time, should confirm form with Zaidpour and Briar Hill in the Ladbrokes Ireland Boyne Hurdle.
Urano, a convincing winner on his chasing debut in Cork, is no more than a hopeful choice in the Ten Up Novice Chase.