This looks a cracking start to proceedings and SHIELD will come in for plenty of support despite a double penalty. Aidan O'Brien's charge seems best over this trip on ground with a bit of ease as he showed with an impressive victory at Killarney and though he meets better rivals here he's given the nod to concede weight all round. Rich Coast is a Listed winner on the Flat but didn't look a natural over timber until a much better run at Tipperary. He's definitely on the upgrade and could provide the main threat. Useful bumper Queen Alphabet has already beaten some smart hurdlers and her only defeat came over a trip too far. She'll ensure the principals don't have things their own way. All of the remainder will need to improve but have the ability to do so.
Shield (IRE) 11-4fav (11-12) Held up in rear, slight mistake 5 out, headway 3 out, improved into 2nd travelling well 2 out, ridden to lead at last, stayed on well, comfortably, won at Killarney 2m 1f nh nov hdl gd beating Mumbo Bay (11-12) by 4l, 9 ran.
Here For The Craic (IRE) 9-4 (11-6) Raced in 3rd, slightly slow 2nd, not fluent 5 out, not fluent 3 out and dropped to rear, soon pushed along and no impression, kept on again into 3rd run-in, 3rd of 4, 10l behind Primroseandblue (11-0) at Limerick 2m hdl 0-123 gf.
Johnny Suku (IRE) 4-1 (11-7) Led, ridden and headed entering straight, no extra in 3rd 3 out, kept on one pace, 3rd of 4, 22l behind Elsie (11-7) at Roscommon 2m 4f nh nov hdl gf.
Rich Coast 11-4 (11-12) Tracked leaders, 4th halfway, travelling well in close 4th before 2 out, improved into 2nd 2 out, challenged at last, ridden and kept on well, won at Tipperary 2m mdn hdl beating Molly Connors (10-11) by 3 1/2l, 19 ran.
Shemshal (FR) 4-6fav (11-4) Mid-division, progress into 4th before straight, improved to challenge before 2 out where led, clear before last, easily, won at Down Royal 2m mdn hdl gf in May beating Knight Of Bangkok (11-4) by 9l, 20 ran.
Queen Alphabet (IRE) 3-10fav (11-1) Tracked leader in 2nd, not fluent at 3rd and 3 out, challenged and narrowly led 2 out, ridden approaching straight, strongly pressed at last, kept on well close home, won at Sligo 2m mrs nov hdl gf beating Annagh Haven (9-13) by 1 1/2l, 5 ran.
Damefirth (IRE) 8-1 (10-8) Mid-division, improved into 2nd after 4th, led after 3 out, went a few lengths clear before 2 out, ridden before last and wandered slightly left, kept on well run-in, comfortably, won at Kilbeggan 2m mdn hdl gd beating Powder Hound (11-6) by 4 1/2l, 8 ran.