Decade Player narrowly had the call over Protaras at Down Royal and there's unlikely to be much between the pair again with the winner just fancied to confirm the form. A Fine Young Man wasn't beaten far at Clonmel on Thursday but was earlier a long way behind DICK DUNDEE at Wexford and Paul Nolan's charge is running so well that a drop to the minimum trip may not prevent a hat-trick. The Amarillo Kid won a nice prize here last time and has to be a major threat despite a subsequent 7lb rise.
Fosters Cross (IRE) 9-1 (11-7) Prominent and disputed lead, slow 5th, led after 5 out until slight mistake and headed 3 out, ridden and dropped to 3rd before last, no impression run-in, 3rd of 6, 6l behind Noble Prince (11-0) at Thurles 2m 6f lst chs (1) gd.
Dick Dundee 4-1fav (11-6) Always prominent, disputed lead 5 out, led from next, went clear and ridden 2 out, stayed on well under pressure from last, won at Wexford 2m 3f hcp chs in Oct beating Toostrong (11-2) by 3 1/2l, 11 ran.
The Amarillo Kid (IRE) 12-1 (10-7) Chased leaders, closer order 5 out, soon 3rd, 4th approaching straight, 2nd and challenged from before last, won at Cork 2m gd in Oct beating Fosters Cross (11-5) by 3/4l, 10 ran.
Perfect Smile (IRE) 14-1 (11-0) Chased leader, clear of remainder, some slight mistakes, closed from before 3 out, led into straight, soon pressed and joined, headed and no extra from 2 out, kept on same pace, 5th of 12, 9l behind Clarach (10-13) at Limerick 2m hdl in Jul '12.
Barneys Honour (IRE) 3-1 (11-4) Chased clear leader and 6th halfway, closer 4 out and ridden approaching next, no impression in 4th before 2 out, no extra run-in, 5th of 9, 13l behind Decade Player (10-0) at Down Royal 2m hcp chs.
Forty Foot Tom 11-2 (11-4) Held up in touch, ridden in 8th 3 out, soon no impression, 8th of 11, 28l behind Dick Dundee (11-6) at Wexford 2m 3f hcp chs in Oct.
Protaras (USA) 10-1 (10-13) Chased clear leader in 4th, closer 4 out and went 2nd next, no impression on winner approaching 2 out, kept on under pressure to close last, no impression final 50 yards, 2nd of 9, 1 1/4l behind Decade Player (10-0) at Down Royal 2m hcp chs.
A Fine Young Man (IRE) 11-4fav (11-5) Prominent, not fluent 2nd, on terms from before 4 out, headed from before last and no extra run-in, 4th of 10, 7l behind Rubert (11-3) at Clonmel 2m 3f hcp chs.
Decade Player (IRE) 8-1 (10-0) Made all and soon clear, reduced advantage 4 out, asserted again approaching 2 out where slight mistake, pressed early run-in and kept on well under pressure closing stages, won at Down Royal 2m hcp chs beating Protaras (10-13) by 1 1/4l, 9 ran.