The prolific Pride Of the Artic and progressive Texas Jack are very useful but will be facing much stiffer competition this time. Arvika Ligeonniere took some time to find his best form but won a novice hurdle and a beginners chase at Punchestown in the style of a very useful performer and could be anything. Buckers Bridge is unbeaten between the flags, in bumpers and after a very promising debut over fences at Punchestown where he battled to victory over the useful Sword Of Destiny. That will stand him in good stead though he'll need to make further progress if he's to see off the talented DEDIGOUT. Tony Martin won this last year with Bog Warrior and this season's representative has looked equally as good, ending the last campaign with victory in a Grade 1 novice hurdle before a sparkling debut over fences a month ago when he beat subsequent dual winner Happy New Year by no less than 34l.
Arvika Ligeonniere (FR) 1-2fav (11-12) Made all, asserted before last, not extended, won at Punchestown 2m 4f beg chs in May beating Tom Horn (11-12) by 13l, 9 ran.
Buckers Bridge (IRE) 5-4 (11-12) Soon led, strongly pressed after 3 out, soon ridden, headed after 2 out, regained lead early run-in, kept on under pressure, won at Punchestown 2m 4f beg chs sft in Oct beating Sword Of Destiny (11-12) by 1 1/2l, 8 ran.
Dedigout (IRE) 2-9fav (11-12) Tracked leaders, 2nd and clear of remainder from 6 out, on terms 3 out, led going best before straight, soon clear, easily, won at Punchestown 2m 4f beg chs hvy in Nov beating Happy New Year (11-5) by 34l, 7 ran.
Pride Of The Artic (IRE) 4-1 (11-8) Made all, ridden and challenged 2 out, disputed briefly before last, kept on well under pressure to assert run-in, won at Tipperary 2m 4f nov chs (1) hvy in Oct beating Jacksonslady (10-9) by 1l, 9 ran.
Texas Jack (IRE) 3-1fav (11-12) Tracked leaders mainly 3rd, 2nd entering straight and challenged approaching last, kept on best under pressure run-in, won at Naas 2m 3f beg chs in Nov beating Make A Track (11-12) by 1l, 9 ran.