PIRES was having just his fourth start over fences when slamming a strong field at Cork last month and though the handicapper has reacted with a massive 13lb rise he can complete the double. Satu, who was 12l behind and may have need the run after a break, should get closer while Character Actor is proving better over fences than timber and improved to finish runner-up in a decent handicap at Tramore. Claragh Native was held by Instant Impacked when falling at the last at Tramore but that was a good run and an earlier easy success over hurdles shows that he arrives in very good form. I Hear A Symphony has won this for the past two years, both times at huge prices. He's in better form for his hat-trick attempt though he's 8lb higher than a year ago. Dantes King hasn't had much experience over fences but has won here and finished runner-up on his only other start on the track.
I Hear A Symphony (IRE) 20-1 (11-3) Led, clear halfway, reduced lead and ridden entering straight, headed before 2 out, no extra and dropped to 3rd before last, 3rd of 6, 12l behind Sizing Europe (11-10) at Gowran Park 2m 4f chs G2 (1) gd in Oct.
Dantes King (IRE) 6-1 (11-6) Held up off pace early, left last 3rd, improved into 4th 8th, mistake 7 out, weakened before 3 out, tailed off, 5th of 6, well behind Whodoyouthink (11-0) at Punchestown 2m 6f chs gd in May.
Pires 5-2fav (10-0) Chased leaders, closer in 4th approaching straight, challenged in 2nd from 2 out, on terms last, led and stayed on well to assert run-in, won at Cork 2m hcp chs sft in Oct beating Echo Bob (11-0) by 7l, 12 ran.
Monastrell 16-1 (11-10) In rear, no impression from 3 out, 6th of 7, 33l behind Rivage D'Or (11-10) at Ballinrobe 2m 6f chs sft in Sep.
Darenjan (IRE) 10-1 (10-11) Chased leaders, 2nd halfway, ridden 2 out, soon no extra in 3rd, kept on one pace, 3rd of 9, 6l behind Lastoftheleaders (11-3) at Galway 2m hcp hdl in Oct.
Satu (IRE) 8-1 (9-13) Waited with, ridden to chase leaders from 2 out, soon no impression, kept on same pace, 4th of 12, 12l behind Pires (10-0) at Cork 2m hcp chs sft in Oct.
Banna Man (IRE) 25-1 (11-5) Mid-division, 8th halfway, headway 4 out and went 4th after next, ridden to go moderate 3rd entering straight, no impression and kept on one pace, 3rd of 15, 17l behind Alf Wright (10-6) at Wexford 2m 3f hcp chs 0-130 gd in Oct.
Dark Prospect 11-2 (11-12) Chased leaders, closer order 7 out, niggled along next, on terms before straight, 3rd and no extra when mistake 2 out, kept on same pace, 4th of 6, 13l behind Moon Dice (11-5) at Cork 2m 4f nov chs sft in Oct.
Character Actor (IRE) 9-1 (11-1) Mid-division and took keen hold, 7th halfway, good headway approaching 2 out and soon went 3rd, no impression on winner when left 2nd at last, kept on same pace run-in, 2nd of 10, 6l behind Instant Impacked (10-5) at Tramore 2m hcp chs 0-123 sft in Oct.
Claragh Native (IRE) 5-2fav (10-8) Mid-division, 5th halfway, headway approaching 2 out where went 2nd, no impression on winner when fell last, in a race won by Instant Impacked (10-5) at Tramore 2m hcp chs 0-123 sft in Oct, 10 ran.
Rookery Rebel (IRE) 16-1 (11-0) Tracked leader in 2nd, led briefly before 3 out, soon headed and dropped to 4th 2 out, no extra, 4th of 14, 21l behind World Citizen (10-4) at Downpatrick 2m 2f hcp hdl 80-95 sft in Sep.