Like-A-Butterfly returns to the racecourse following a 595-day absence in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Beginners Chase at Naas tomorrow afternoon.
The Christy Roche-trained 10-year-old has been off the course since finishing third to Sacundai in the 2003 Aintree Hurdle after suffering a tendon injury.
A high-class mare, Like-A-Butterfly landed a massive gamble when just getting up to take the 2002 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle under Charlie Swan and she enjoyed a titanic battle with Limestone Lad to win the following year’s Irish Champion Hurdle.
The JP McManus-owned daughter of Montelimar will face 15 rivals in the two-mile chase, which will be her first run over fences in public.
Likely favourite is the Thomas O’Leary-trained Newmill who proved himself one of Ireland’s leading hurdlers last term, finishing three-quarters of a length behind Brave Inca in a Grade One event at Punchestown in February.
Also declared to run is Jessica Harrington’s Aye Aye Popeye who made a pleasing debut over fences when chasing home Arkle hope Royal Alphabet at Thurles earlier this month.