This excellent prize has attracted a very strong line-up headed in the weights by the classy LAMBRO, his stablemate Quiscover Fontaine and the 2011 Irish National winner Organisedconfusion. Preference is for the former, a Grade 2 winner over hurdles who mixed it with the best in his novice season over fences and wasn't far behind Flemenstar at Naas a year ago though Pires looks a major threat. His last two victories came over fences and though beaten over hurdles last time he's on the upgrade over the bigger obstacles. Far Away So Close was attempting to concede 9lb to Lead Kindly Light when Sean Byrne's charge scored over the C&D last month and can reverse the form on today's revised terms.
Lambro (IRE) 1-2fav (11-12) Tracked leader in 2nd, disputed lead 4 out and led before 2 out, asserted before last where mistake, stayed on well run-in, easily, won at Punchestown 2m 2f chs sft in May beating Slieveardagh (11-12) by 10l, 4 ran.
Organisedconfusion (IRE) 6-1fav (10-7) Mid-division, headway into 6th 2 out, ridden entering straight, kept on same pace into 4th last, 4th of 30, 3 1/2l behind Prince Rudi (10-6) at Leopardstown 3m hcp hdl sft in Dec.
Quiscover Fontaine (FR) 4-1fav (11-2) Tracked leaders, 3rd halfway, driven along in 4th 2 out, headway to challenge in straight and disputed briefly last, no extra early run-in and weakened, 6th of 16, 4 1/2l behind Supreme Carolina (10-13) at Leopardstown 2m hdl sft in Dec.
Fosters Cross (IRE) 13-2 (11-5) Led, jumped left 1st, soon well clear, tired and reduced advantage approaching last, soon headed and kept on same pace in 3rd, 3rd of 5, 2 1/2l behind Blackstairmountain (11-5) at Cork 2m hdl.
Lastoftheleaders (IRE) 16-1 (11-10) Held up, 11th 2 out, 6th and staying on when slight mistake last, no extra, 6th of 16, 8l behind Jacksonslady (10-13) at Leopardstown 2m 1f hcp chs sft in Dec.
Pires 6-1 (11-2) Rear of mid-division, 7th 3 out, headway approaching last and every chance early run-in, no extra under pressure in 3rd closing stages, 3rd of 16, 1 1/2l behind Supreme Carolina (10-13) at Leopardstown 2m hdl sft in Dec.
Far Away So Close (IRE) 5-1 (11-6) Soon prominent, led approaching 6th, pressed straight and headed 2 out, no impression when hit last, kept on same pace run-in, 3rd of 5, 9l behind Argocat (10-9) at Limerick 2m 3f nov chs Grade 2 (1) hvy in Dec.
Lead Kindly Light (IRE) 10-1 (11-10) Rear of mid-division, pogress entering straight, 4th and ridden 2 out, no extra, 5th of 13, 13l behind Beneficial Spirit (10-3) at Naas 2m hcp chs 0-130.
Peak Raider (IRE) 7-1 (10-9) Always towards rear, 12th of 16, 44l behind Jacksonslady (10-13) at Leopardstown 2m 1f hcp chs sft in Dec.
Ballyburke (IRE) 12-1 (10-6) Waited with, went moderate 4th before straight, no impression under pressure and kept on same pace from before 2 out, 7th of 13, 23l behind Jack Absolute (11-0) at Limerick 2m 3f hcp chs 0-145 hvy in Dec.
Paddy O Dee 33-1 (9-8) Led until fell 5 out, in a race won by Jacksonslady (10-13) at Leopardstown 2m 1f hcp chs sft in Dec, 16 ran.