Timeform's Adam Houghton highlights a Nap, Next Best and Each-Way selection at Punchestown on Sunday.
"A useful hurdler, Sixshooter has already bettered that form over fences and he is fancied to take the step up in grade in his stride here to maintain his unbeaten record."
NAP: Sixshooter looks a serious player
Sixshooter looked a good prospect when making a successful debut over fences at Galway last month, steadily drawing clear from the home turn to win by four and a half lengths in decisive fashion.
That was a smart performance and the small 'p' attached to his Timeform rating denotes that he is likely to have more to offer as he gains in experience in this sphere. A useful hurdler, Sixshooter has already bettered that form over fences and he is fancied to take the step up in grade in his stride here to maintain his unbeaten record.
NEXT BEST: Sharjah can show his class
Sharjah has been a terrific servant to the Willie Mullins stable over the years, with the first of his four Grade 1 wins coming in this race in 2018. He enjoyed another productive campaign in 2020/21, winning the Matheson Hurdle at Leopardstown for the third year in succession before also filling the runner-up spot behind Honeysuckle in both the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham and the Punchestown Champion Hurdle.
His record underlines that he is a high-class hurdler and his four rivals here will all need to improve to come up to his level. Stablemate Echoes In Rain is likely to emerge as the chief threat, but Sharjah still appeals as the number one contender for Mullins, who is trying to win this Grade 1 for the eleventh time in his career.
EACH-WAY: Lord Gillygooley looks overpriced
Lord Gillygooley opened his account at Clonmel in September and he improved again when second on his latest outing at Cork. On that occasion he went through the race like the best horse at the weights only to suffer late heartache, ultimately going down by a head having been collared on the line.
This will be tougher again following a further 12 lb hike in the weights, but Lord Gillygooley is clearly going the right way and it's possible that he hasn't finished improving just yet. The demands of this race will play to his strengths and he looks sure to give another good account.
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