Super Solwhit strikes again
Solwhit landed back-to-back runnings of the Dobbins & Madigans At Punchestown Hurdle.
Conqueror of Muirhead and Hurricane Fly in the Grade One showpiece 12 months ago, the Charles Byrnes-trained six-year-old initially found Donnas Palm a tough nut to crack this time.
But the long-time leader eventually gave way and Solwhit (11-10 favourite) never looked likely to be caught thereafter, despite the mare Voler La Vedette running on well for second.
Byrnes said: "He did it well, and you could see he was very relaxed during the race. He got a bit tired after the last, but I'm happy to have that over with.
"We'll look at the Hatton's Grace now. I didn't use to like running him again too soon, but he's got so relaxed at home that he's taking nothing out of himself.
"We took him away for a few gallops before today but he didn't exert himself too much.
"We will not be targeting him specifically at Cheltenham, and will go for all the Grade Ones like Leopardstown at Christmas and the Irish Champion back there."
Colm Murphy, trainer of Voler La Vedette, said: "I'm delighted with her. She settled really well. She was staying on to the line and I've no doubt she'll get two and a half miles. We'll see how she comes out of this, but we'll look at the Hatton's Grace.
"If there aren't too many big guns she could go for it. I could have a look at what there is in England, but it's a worry travelling her so I probably won't."
A return to Cheltenham for the David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle could be considered, with Murphy adding: "I wouldn't rule it out, but there is also Fairyhouse and Punchestown."