MARASONNIEN, who won a Grade 1 over hurdles at Punchestown last April, started odds-on when making his chasing debut for Willie Mullins at Navan in December but was well beaten by The Westerner Boy. That brought him on and he did much better when runner-up to Lord Windermere in a much stronger event at Leopardstown and he's the type to go on improving. He's handed the vote though there are plenty of dangers including White Star Line, who has been sent to Cheltenham for his two latest runs but found 3m1f taxing his stamina on both occasions. Realt Mor has joined Gordon Elliott from Nicky Richards where he's been finding 2m too sharp so he's one to keep an eye on as is Golanbrook, who has made costly mistakes at the final fence on his last two starts. A Fine Young Man showed massive improvement when a close second to the very useful Terminal at Cork and is another to consider.
A Fine Young Man (IRE) 14-1 (11-12) Soon led, went on from 6 out, reduced lead 3 out, joined last, headed and kept on without matching winner run-in, 2nd of 12, 3 1/2l behind Terminal (11-12) at Cork 2m 4f beg chase hvy in Jan.
Carlos Fandango (IRE) 12-1 (11-12) Chased leaders, 5th 3 out, 4th entering straight but no extra from 2 out, 5th of 16, 22l behind Madam Bovary (11-5) at Punchestown 2m 4f beg chase hvy in Jan.
Golanbrook (IRE) 11-8fav (11-12) Led and disputed, led and went clear 5 out, joined again 3 out, soon ridden and strongly pressed, narrowly headed when mistake at last, no extra run-in, 3rd of 6, 7l behind Western Leader (11-12) at Fairyhouse 2m 5f beg chase hvy in Jan.
Home Farm (IRE) 16-1 (11-12) Held up behind leaders, 6th halfway, headway into 4th last, ridden and no impression entering straight, kept on one pace, 5th of 7, 19l behind Rupert Lamb (11-12) at Leopardstown 2m 1f beg chase hvy in Jan.
Its The Ice I Like (IRE) 20-1 (11-2) Chased leaders, 8th halfway, ridden to go 3rd after 2 out but soon no chance with easy winner, no extra in straight, weakened, 7th of 24, 35l behind Whatever Jacksays (10-2) at Punchestown 3m Handicap Hurdle (95-130) (4yo+) hvy in Apr.
Knockgraffon King (IRE) 7-1 (11-12) Tracked leaders in moderate 4th, no impression on leaders from 4 out, 4th of 6, 41l behind Western Leader (11-12) at Fairyhouse 2m 5f beg chase hvy in Jan.
Marasonnien (FR) 5-2 (11-12) Led and disputed, 3rd 3 out, pushed along 2 out, ridden in 4th entering straight, 3rd last, kept on run-in to 2nd closing stages, 2nd of 12, 2l behind Lord Windermere (11-12) at Leopardstown 2m 3f beg chs sft in Dec.
Masked Phantom (IRE) 33-1 (11-12) Never better than mid-division, no impression from 4 out, tailed off, 8th of 13, well behind Savello (11-12) at Clonmel 2m beg chase hvy.
Minella For Value (IRE) 16-1 (10-12) Mid-division, headway on outside before 9th, outpaced after next, weakened 3 out, 6th of 8, 22l behind According To Trev (11-3) at Cheltenham 3m 1f nh nov hdl (3) gs in Oct.
My Murphy (IRE) 9-1 (11-12) Chased leader, 3rd halfway, 5th last, soon ridden, kept on under pressure straight to 3rd close home, 3rd of 7, 10l behind Rupert Lamb (11-12) at Leopardstown 2m 1f beg chase hvy in Jan.
Paddy The Stout (IRE) 40-1 (11-9) Held up towards rear, moderate 7th and no impression 4 out, kept on one pace, left moderate 4th last, 4th of 12, 29l behind El Fontan (11-12) at Punchestown 2m 4f beg chs hvy in Nov.
Realt Mor (IRE) 4-1 (10-12) Held up in rear, headway 3 out, every chance next, weakened flat, 3rd of 5, 10l behind Majala (11-3) at Haydock 2m nov chs (2) hvy in Dec.
Royal Sam (IRE) 16-1 (11-9) Rear of mid-division, headway into 6th 6 out, ridden before 2 out, no impression in 5th entering straight, kept on same pace, 4th of 13, 16l behind Tarquinius (11-5) at Leopardstown 2m 5f cond hcp chs 0-116 sft in Dec.
The Way We Were (IRE) 6-1 (11-12) Mid-division, some headway in poor 3rd from 4 out, soon no impression, kept on same pace, 4th of 12, well behind Terminal (11-12) at Cork 2m 4f beg chase hvy in Jan.
White Star Line (IRE) 28-1 (10-13) Held up in last pair, pushed along when mistake 12th, struggling 14th, rallied well from 2 out, went modest 3rd run-in, 3rd of 7, 29l behind Our Father (10-13) at Cheltenham 3m nov chs (2) sft in Nov.