Mister Hight, who heads the ante-post market in some books for the JCB Triumph Hurdle, is a red-hot favourite with the sponsors for the Cashmans Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown on Sunday.
The Willie Mullins-trained gelding is 1-2 to take the Grade Two contest which is seen as a key trial for the four-year-old championship at Cheltenham next month.
Mister Hight was already prominent in the bookmaker’s lists for the Triumph Hurdle due to some smart form on the level before he routed a useful field by 20 lengths on his hurdling debut at Punchestown on New Year’s Eve.
The JP McManus-owned Marhaba Million was second that day but he has since improved to take a Grade Three race also at Punchestown and connections will be expecting more of a contest on Sunday as he reopposes.
Bobs Pride, another of the 11 entries, was marginally better than Mister Hight on the Flat but was well beaten on his debut over timber and Dermot Weld will be looking for him to enhance his Triumph claims.
First Row, trained on the Flat by Brian Meehan, could line up for Dessie Hughes and the smart Cogan’s Lake could take his chance for Kieran Purcell.
Steve Mahon’s Vox Populi, a winner at Leopardstown in December, is another possible along with Ted Walsh’s Artist’s Muse. Breathing Fire, Dreux, Noend and Packie Tam complete the entries.
Sponsors Cashman’s bet: 1-2 Mister Hight, 5-1 Marhaba Million, 6-1 Bobs Pride, 8-1 Cogans Lake, 12-1 First Row, Dreux, 14-1 Vox Populi, 20-1 Artist’s Muse, 33-1 Breathing Fire, 50-1 Noend, 66-1 Packie Tam.