The mare UNIKA LA RECONCE was having her first start for Willie Mullins when making all in a Thurles maiden in December where she had subsequent winner Speckled Wood 12 lengths behind in second. This is much tougher but she will have come on for the run and her allowance is a major bonus. She's handed the vote though Dushybeag looks a big threat. Mick Hourigan's charge won a maiden over the track and trip in November and has been performing in much better class recently including when third to Inish Island in a Grade 3 here two weeks ago. Winning point-to-pointer Rye Martini looks a nice prospect for Colm Murphy and will have benefited from his opening victory under Rules at Tipperary in October while the very useful chaser Rathlin was certainly no slouch over timber at his best. Anonis could be the fly in the ointment here as the Listed bumper winner was still in touch and travelling well enough when falling in the Grade 2 won by Cheltenham hope Pont Alexandre at Leopardstown.
Anonis (GER) 10-1 (11-3) Chased leaders, 4th halfway, fell 3 out, in a race won by Pont Alexandre (11-7) at Leopardstown 2m 4f nov hdl Grade 2 (1) in Jan, 8 ran.
Dushybeag (IRE) 18-1 (11-2) Tracked leaders in 4th/5th, ridden and dropped to 6th 3 out, moderate 4th entering straight, went moderate 3rd 2 out, kept on same pace, 3rd of 7, 13l behind Inish Island (11-2) at Clonmel 2m 6f nov hdl Grd 3 (1) hvy.
Rathlin 12-1 (11-8) Tracked leaders in 3rd, mistake 9th and dropped to rear before 4 out, no extra, 6th of 8, 41l behind Quito De La Roque (11-10) at Thurles 2m 4f chs Grd 2 (1) hvy in Jan.
Rye Martini (IRE) 3-1 (11-4) Always prominent and travelled well throughout, led before straight, ridden to assert and stayed on well run-in, won at Tipperary 2m 5yo mdn hdl hvy in Oct beating Reafadda (11-5) by 2 3/4l, 10 ran.
Whats Happening (IRE) 16-1 (11-0) Waited with, 8th after 4 out, kept on same pace from before next, 8th of 9, 22l behind Our Vinnie (11-0) at Cork 3m nov hdl Grd 3 (1) in Nov.
Blacklough (IRE) 33-1 (11-7) Held up, 7th halfway, 6th after 3 out, ridden and no impression 2 out, 6th of 9, 23l behind Jezki (11-7) at Leopardstown 2m nov hdl Grade 1 (1) sft in Dec.
Unika La Reconce (FR) 8-11fav (10-13) Made all, ridden to assert approaching last, stayed on well run-in, won at Thurles 2m mdn hdl hvy in Dec beating Speckled Wood (10-13) by 12l, 18 ran.