FACE VALUE returns after a break but was in such good heart when last seen in November that he can carry on where he left off. He completed his hat-trick on the Flat in Leopardstown's November Handicap and ended the year with a very good third behind two smart hurdlers at Haydock. Saint Gervais ran well over hurdles at the Punchestown Festival and should make a bold bid to lose his maiden tag under Flat rules but Defence Of Duress may need the run after a long break and is better over an even longer trip. Action Master, a winner over 3m at Cheltenham in October, is another who might find this on the short side though he's well treated and will be staying on when others have had enough. Fleur De Nuit ran her best race for a long time at Leopardstown last month and is another to enter the equation.
Sir Ector (USA) 12-1 (9-13) Mid-division, 9th on outer approaching straight, no impression from under 2f out, 10th of 27, 33l behind Voleuse De Coeurs (9-1) at Curragh 2m hcp hvy in Oct.
Dimona (IRE) 5-1 (10-12) Chased leader, closed into straight, where lost place and briefly short of room, soon no extra under pressure, kept on same pace, 5th of 6, 11l behind False Economy (10-9) at Listowel 1m 6f am stks (4yo+) gf in Jun.
Defence Of Duress (IRE) 25-1 (8-7) Held up rear of mid-division, steady headway on inside over 3f out, switched left over 2f out, ridden to chase leading trio over 1f out, strong run inside final furlong, went 2nd final 50 yards, closed on winner, just held, 2nd of 20, hd behind Hurricane Higgins (9-10) at Goodwood 2m 5f hcp 0-95 (2) gd in Aug.
Saint Gervais (IRE) 4-1fav (9-5) Slowly away and settled off pace, chased leader in 4th halfway, closer and went 3rd entering straight, ridden over 1f out and no extra inside final furlong, 6th of 9, 2 1/4l behind Tantalising (8-12) at Curragh 1m 4f hcp in Apr.
Time To Work (IRE) 10-1 (9-0) Mid-division, ridden and headway over 2f out, chased leaders over 1f out, stayed on final furlong, 4th of 13, 4 1/2l behind Samsons Son (9-6) at Goodwood 1m 4f hcp 0-90 (3) sft in Sep '11.
Face Value 12-1 (8-2) Led, clear from halfway to 3f out, headed 2f out, raillied inside final furlong to regain lead near finish, won at Leopardstown 2m hcp sft in Nov beating Albert Bridge (9-5) by nk, 18 ran.
Fleur De Nuit (IRE) 10-1 (9-7) Soon chased leaders, ridden into 4th 1f out, not much room inside final furlong, kept on, 3rd of 15, 3l behind Head Waiter (8-2) at Leopardstown 1m 6f Handicap (47-75) (4yo+) sft in Apr.
Prince Chaparral (IRE) 12-1 (9-3) Held up, 5th halfway, ridden and no extra 2f out, 6th of 7, 20l behind The Four Elms (9-11) at Limerick 1m 3f hcp 50-80 hvy in Apr.
Giant's Quest (AUS) 16-1 (8-7) Always towards rear, kept on same pace straight, 13th of 18, 23l behind Face Value (8-2) at Leopardstown 2m hcp sft in Nov.
Captainofthefleet (IRE) 12-1 (9-3) Chased leader, 2nd halfway, ridden and no extra 2f out, kept on one pace, 6th of 10, 12l behind Clara Bel La (8-13) at Tipperary 1m 4f Handicap (50-85) (4yo+) hvy.
Action Master 3-1 (9-9) Raced in 4th, pushed along 5f out and no impression from 2f out, went moderate 3rd final furlong, 3rd of 4, 11l behind On The Way Out (8-12) at Tramore 2m hcp sft in Oct.
Aughnacurraveel (IRE) 7-1 (10-3) Made all, ridden and kept on well final furlong, won at Wexford 2m am stks (4yo+) sft in Aug beating Domination (10-9) by 1/2l, 7 ran.
Lady Imola (IRE) 8-1 (9-0) Soon mid-division, 8th before straight, no impression from 2f out, last of 10 Valbucca (8-8) at Navan 1m 2f fll hcp hvy in Oct.
Dynastic 12-1 (9-5) Prominent, 3rd for much, no impression and kept on same pace from over 1f out, 3rd of 10, 2l behind Shukhov (9-12) at Dundalk 1m 3f app hcp pol in Mar.
Teofolina (IRE) 12-1 (8-10) Dwelt, always towards rear, 9th of 11, 30l behind Seventh Sign (9-3) at Killarney 1m 6f hcp sft in Sep.