With two entries each, Edward O'Grady and Willie Mullins look to have this between them. The former is represented by Staying Article, who looked a potential Grade 1 winner when beating Blackstairmountain at Cork though his penalty gives him a bit more to do, and Rigour Back Bob, who would appear to need further and is racing for the first time since last October. The champion trainer is represented by the classy Midnight Game, who ran in the very best company after landing a novices' event at Naas in January, and the dual Royal Ascot winner SIMENON. The latter ran an absolute shocker on his reappearance at Punchestown last month, coming hime 33 length behind the winner at odds of 1/3. There was something obviously amiss that day and he's handed an opportunity to redeem his reputation.
Staying Article (IRE) 5-4 (11-12) Soon tracked leader in 2nd, almost on terms 4 out, soon led, closely pressed 2 out, hit last, pulled out more closing stages, won at Cork 2m hdl sft in Nov beating Blackstairmountain (11-5) by 1l, 7 ran.
Midnight Game 9-1 (11-12) Held up in last slightly off pace, mistake 6th and soon under pressure, behind in last from 3 out, went moderate 4th from 2 out, no extra, 4th of 5, 10l behind Alderwood (11-12) at Punchestown 2m nov hdl G2 (1) gs in Apr.
Rigour Back Bob (IRE) 15-8fav (11-10) Raced mainly in 3rd, pushed along before 3 out, 2nd before straight, no impression and kept on same pace run-in, 2nd of 10, 2l behind Pineau De Re (11-6) at Thurles 2m 6f hdl gd in Oct '11.
Simenon (IRE) 1-3fav (11-4) Held up towards rear, ridden in 4th after 2 out, no impression entering straight, mistake last and weakened, 4th of 6, 33l behind Un Beau Matin (10-10) at Punchestown 2m 6f hdl hvy in Nov.
Whosaidso (IRE) 7-1 (11-0) Chased leaders, progress 6 out, challenged approaching 2 out where slight mistake, soon no impression and kept on same pace, 2nd of 13, 10l behind Whatsabillion (9-10) at Clonmel 2m 4f Conditional Handicap Chase (0-123) (5yo+) in Mar '11.
One Cool Shabra (IRE) 66-1 (10-3) Led, ridden and headed before last, no extra flat, 9th of 18, 10l behind Olofi (10-11) at Cheltenham 2m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) sft in Nov.