Shark Hanlon is keeping his fingers crossed there is some ease in the ground at the Punchestown Festival later this month ahead of Hidden Cyclone's intended appearance in the Champion Chase.

The nine-year-old has run some fantastic races in defeat since winning a minor event at Listowel back in September, placing in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham, the Dial-A-Bet Chase at Leopardstown, the Clarence House Chase at Ascot and most recently chasing home Dynaste in the Ryanair Chase.

Bookmakers have Hanlon's stable star as their 4-1 favourite to clinch a first Grade One victory on April 29 and the County Carlow-based trainer reports his charge to be in fine form.

He said: "Everything is good. We haven't done a lot with him since Cheltenham, he's had a fairly easy time, but he seems in good old form.

"Hopefully he'll be running in Punchestown, as long as the ground isn't too fast and I don't think they'll let that happen.

"I've no problems with good ground, you just don't want it to be on the quick side. As I say, I can't see that will happen.

"I'm not sure if any of the English horses will be coming over to take us on, we'll see, but we're happy with our horse and we're looking forward to it."