Five-year-olds generally hold sway in this and Willie Mullins has a fantastic record, though it's not always the apparent first choice that comes out on top. The unbeaten Black Hercules and Shaneshill run for the same ownership and have scope but we were very taken with KILLULTAGH VIC'S wide-margin defeat of Golantilla at Naas last month and, though he's unlikely to be allowed an uncontested lead here, the Old Vic gelding could be the best of his trainer's entries and is taken to complete the hat-trick. Dermot Weld's pair, Silver Concorde and Vigil, look nice prospects and Value At Risk could also go well in a race in which raiders from across the Irish Sea may well dominate. Pick of the home team may be the well-bred Third Act, though A P McCoy is an interesting booking for Definitly Red who had Mountain Of Mourne and Seven Nation Army behind in a Newbury Listed event last time. The four-year-old Modus looks best of the rest.
Assam Black (IRE) 10-11fav (11-2) Led for 3f, chased leader, led again 7f out, kept on strongly final 2f, won at Taunton 2m 1f mdn NH flat (5) gd in Nov beating Ivor's Queen (10-9) by 6l, 10 ran.
Black Hercules (IRE) 5-6fav (11-12) Chased leader in moderate 2nd, closed 6f out, disputed from 5f out, led 2f out, ridden clear over 1f out, kept on strongly, won at Gowran Park 2m N H flat in Jan beating Montys Meadow (11-11) by 9l, 8 ran.
Definitly Red (IRE) 6-1 (11-3) Chased leaders, went 2nd 3f out, ridden to lead entering final 2f, stayed on well final furlong, driven out, won at Newbury 2m Listed NH flat (1) hvy in Feb beating Tea For Two (10-10) by 3 1/2l, 8 ran.
El Namoose 11-4fav (11-4) Held up mid-division, headway over 3f out, led over 1f out, ridden and stayed on well final furlong, won at Musselburgh 2m NH flat (5) gs in Jan beating Racing Europe (11-4) by 4l, 8 ran.
Golantilla (IRE) 4-6fav (11-11) Held up in rear, progress travelling smoothly straight, went 2nd but no match for winner from 2f out, kept on same pace, 2nd of 5, 16l behind Killultagh Vic (11-10) at Naas 2m N H flat in Feb.
Joshua Lane (IRE) 8-1 (11-4) Took keen hold, held up, headway to chase leaders 5f out, went 2nd over 2f out, ridden and every chance inside final furlong, no extra and held in closing stages, 2nd of 9, nk behind Seven Nation Army (11-4) at Ascot 2m Listed NH flat (1) sft in Dec.
Killultagh Vic (IRE) 2-1 (11-10) Made all, asserted from 2f out, soon ridden clear, stayed on strongly, impressive, won at Naas 2m N H flat in Feb beating Golantilla (11-11) by 16l, 5 ran.
Mountain Of Mourne (IRE) 25-1 (10-10) Soon led, narrowly headed after 4f, pressed leader, led again over 4f out, ridden and hung left over 2f out, headed entering final 2f, chased winner, no impression when lost 2nd final 110 yards, 3rd of 8, 8l behind Definitly Red (11-3) at Newbury 2m Listed NH flat (1) hvy in Feb.
Neck Or Nothing (GER) 10-1 (11-0) Held up towards rear, headway when tried to jump path crossing 3f out, faltered badly and unable to recover, 8th of 13, 12l behind Red Sherlock (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m Listed NH flat (1) gd in Nov.
Oscarteea (IRE) 6-1 (11-4) Took keen hold tracking leaders, outpaced over 4f out, soon pushed along, driven 2f out, stayed on again final furlong, 5th of 9, 9l behind Seven Nation Army (11-4) at Ascot 2m Listed NH flat (1) sft in Dec.
Our Kaempfer (IRE) 25-1 (10-11) Mid-division, headway over 4f out, ridden and edged left over 1f out and inside final furlong, pressed for 2nd final 100 yards, no impression on winner, 3rd of 13, 1 3/4l behind Red Sherlock (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m Listed NH flat (1) gd in Nov.
Seven Nation Army (IRE) 11-4 (11-7) Led early, chased leaders, pushed along 5f out, ridden and outpaced over 4f out, never on terms after, 5th of 8, 32l behind Definitly Red (11-3) at Newbury 2m Listed NH flat (1) hvy in Feb.
Shaneshill (IRE) 4-6fav (11-11) Tracked leaders, disputing 2nd from halfway, improved to lead travelling well over 2f out, soon ridden clear, stayed on strongly final furlong, easily, won at Fairyhouse 2m N H flat in Nov beating The Herds Garden (11-4) by 11l, 9 ran.
Silver Concorde 5-2fav (12-0) Settled towards rear, 6th halfway, closer in 5th approaching straight, progress to lead 1f out, pushed out to assert and stayed on well, won at Leopardstown 2m NH flat sft in Dec beating Volvalien (11-6) by 4l, 8 ran.
Stack The Deck (IRE) 10-3 (11-12) Held up in mid-division, progress into 4th 4f out, ridden into 3rd 2f out, 2nd and no impression winner over 1f out, kept on same pace, lost 2nd closing stages final furlong, 3rd of 8, 11l behind Black Hercules (11-12) at Gowran Park 2m N H flat in Jan.
Third Act (IRE) 13-8fav (11-4) Held up in mid-division, smooth headway over 4f out, led travelling well 3f out, pushed clear final furlong, very easily, won at Kempton 2m mdn NH flat (5) hvy in Feb beating Etheridge Annie (10-4) by 6l, 11 ran.
Value At Risk 7-4 (11-6) Chased leaders, 3rd halfway, 2nd 7f out, challenged entering straight, ridden to narrow lead 2f out, kept on well from over 1f out, won at Leopardstown 2m N H flat sft in Dec beating Draco (10-11) by 2l, 5 ran.
Vigil (IRE) 7-4fav (11-13) Settled towards rear, smooth progress into 4th approaching straight, led under 2f out and stayed on well inside final furlong, easily, won at Leopardstown 2m N H flat in Feb beating Lockstockandbarrel (11-13) by 5l, 12 ran.
Zeroeshadesofgrey (IRE) 9-2 (11-6) Tracked leaders, led 3f out, ridden over 1f out, kept on well towards finish, won at Doncaster 2m NH flat (6) gs in Feb beating Relic Rock (11-9) by 2l, 10 ran.
Izzini (IRE) 11-8fav (11-3) Mid-division, in touch 9f out, headway over 3f out, led narrowly over 2f out, ridden over 1f out, edged left and held on final 75 yards, won at Newcastle 2m NH flat (6) gs in Apr beating Thunder And Rain (11-3) by 3/4l, 10 ran.
Coyaba 9-4fav (10-12) Tracked leaders, ridden over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 8th of 10, 34l behind Modus (10-12) at Cheltenham 1m 6f 4yo NH flat (Listed) (1) sft in Jan.
Modus 5-1 (10-12) Mid-division, headway over 6f out, led 2f out, clear final furlong, stayed on strongly, won at Cheltenham 1m 6f 4yo NH flat (Listed) (1) sft in Jan beating Adeupas D'ycy (10-12) by 13l, 10 ran.
Royal Vacation (IRE) 4-1 (10-7) Mid-division, pushed along and lost place 8f out, behind 6f out, rallied from over 1f out, stayed on well inside final furlong, 4th of 9, 4 1/2l behind A Vos Gardes (10-4) at Ascot 2m NH flat (4) sft in Feb.