THE stage is set for a mouthwatering head-to-head in the Mares' Hurdle.
Top-class mares Benie Des Dieux and Honeysuckle feature among a field of 11 set to line-up at 4.10 on Tuesday.
In all honesty this is a two-mare race.
Honeysuckle remains undefeated and she has been a credit to Henry De Bromhead.
She was made to work hard for victory in the Irish Champion Hurdle, but the return to this 2m4f trip will suit.
But if the ground comes up soft, she will have a real job on her hands coping with the brilliant BENIE DES DIEUX.
Willie Mullins' mare would have won this race 12 months ago but for a dramatic final-flight fall with the race at her mercy.
But she has since easily dismissed a French superstar at Auteuil and returned with a bloodless 21 length victory at Gowran in January.
Three miles is probably her ideal trip, but if this becomes a test of stamina she will likely prove too strong for the admirable Honeysuckle.
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Roksana was a lucky winner of this last year and she hasn't quite been at her best this term.
But she commands respect nevertheless and could prove best of the rest with the big two expected to dominate in the finish.
Stormy Ireland doesn't have a great deal to find with the top two on ratings, but she will need to take another step forward from her Naas win to figure.
Phil Kirby's top mare Lady Buttons continues to do her connections proud and she holds rock-solid place claims.
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