Ruby Walsh can barely contain his enthusiasm for Hurricane Fly after his victory in the much-rearranged Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse on Wednesday.
Willie Mullins' five-time Grade One winner has had a series of niggling injuries which have forced him to miss the last two Cheltenham Festivals, but Walsh is hoping he has a clear run this season.
"This is probably the first time in a long time Willie has had no hold-ups with him. Last year, before he went to Punchestown, he'd had a hold-up through the winter, whereas this year things have gone really right for him," Walsh told At The Races.
"His Flat form is very good. He could have gone for the Champion Stakes and the Arlington Million with him, he's a high-class Flat horse, but he loves jumping and has a great attitude. Willie was surprised he beat a race-fit Solwhit, but that's the regard he holds Solwhit in.
"The trip was never going to be an issue. I won a two-three hurdle race in France on him as a four-year-old. He's a wonderful little horse. He has loads of speed and he stays."
Walsh was also hugely taken with the youngster Zaidpour, who maintained his unbeaten record in the Royal Bond.
"Obviously you can only win the race you're in and the ratings might be questionable, but his performance was breathtaking," Walsh added.
"He loves soft ground and he is a half-brother to Zaynar. He's a real exciting type."