Jockey Ruby Walsh believes young pretender Our Conor has something to prove when he takes on Hurricane Fly in the Ryanair Hurdle at Leopardstown on 29 December.
Walsh admits the Dessie Hughes-trained Our Conor looked potentially top-class when running away with the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, but that taking on a two-times Champion Hurdle victor is a different matter altogether.
"Our Conor looked like an exceptional juvenile. The way he won the Triumph was breathtaking, the way he travelled through the race, but this is a big step up for him," Walsh told Racing UK.
"He's only a four-year-old taking on an older, hardened horse like Hurricane Fly. It will be a big step up for Our Conor.
"He looks potentially like he'll make it, but he'll have to prove he can."
On potential contenders for Hurricane Fly's Champion Hurdle crown, Walsh was impressed by The New One's victory in the StanJames.com International Hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday.
"I thought The New One was very good. You had to like the way he quickened up from the last. He's a very good horse," he said.