Willie Mullins won this a year ago with Primroseandblue and Bally Longford will be fancied to repeat the process. He completed a double when beating OUR MAN ZEBO narrowly in heavy ground at Galway but the runner-up can take his revenge on 3lb better terms with the quicker ground and longer trip also playing to his strengths. In receipt of 7lb from the top pair Supreme Doc, who is much better known as a chaser, looks a real danger as he was having his first start over hurdles when runner-up to the useful Domination at Cork on Sunday. There are plenty of promising types amongst the opposition though all will need to improve against the main contenders.
Bally Longford (IRE) 11-10fav (11-6) Led at very slow pace early, headed after 1st, soon moderate 2nd, closed 6 out, disputed before 2 out, led 2 out, ridden after last and kept on, strongly pressed close home, won at Galway 2m 4f nh nov hdl sft beating Our Man Zebo (11-9) by 1/2l, 6 ran.
Our Man Zebo (IRE) 7-4 (11-9) Settled moderate 4th, closer 6 out, ridden 2 out, stayed on into 2nd last, kept on run-in to press winner close home, 2nd of 6, 1/2l behind Bally Longford (11-6) at Galway 2m 4f nh nov hdl sft.
Banana Flambe (IRE) 12-1 (11-4) Always towards rear, never a factor, weakened after 5 out and pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Pyrus Gold Wind (10-13) at Galway 2m 4f hcp hdl 8Evens23 sft in Jul, 19 ran.
Flatfoot Boogie (FR) 16-1 (11-12) Always prominent, on terms from 5 out, in front 3 out, pressed and stayed on well closing stages, won at Cork 2m 3f mdn hdl gf beating Hilltop Tommy (11-12) by 1l, 18 ran.
Freneys Well 20-1 (11-5) Waited with, some headway in 9th from before 3 out, kept on same pace from before next, 6th of 15, 13l behind Sizing Australia (11-12) at Punchestown 3m crs cntry chs (5yo+) hvy in Apr.
Keep On Track (IRE) 11-2 (11-4) Soon tracked leaders, challenged and on terms 2 out, in front last, stayed on well to draw clear run-in, won at Downpatrick 2m 5f hts chs gf in Jun beating Old Supporter (11-0) by 5l, 14 ran.
Lots Of Memories (IRE) 10-1 (11-11) Soon chased leaders, improved to challenge before straight, narrow lead 2f out, ridden and kept on well from over 1f out, won at Punchestown 2m 2f N H flat sft in Apr beating Real Steel (11-9) by 1 3/4l, 15 ran.
Supreme Doc (IRE) 14-1 (10-7) Tracked leader, led and mistake 3 out, headed from next, no impression from before last, kept on same pace, 2nd of 5, 3l behind Domination (11-2) at Cork 2m 2f hdl gd.
Zest For Life (IRE) 13-2 (11-5) Soon chased leaders, hampered 2 out, soon struggling to get there in 4th, stayed on well run-in, just failed, 2nd of 15, shd behind Sizing Australia (11-12) at Punchestown 3m crs cntry chs (5yo+) hvy in Apr.
Ittimetogo (IRE) 33-1 (11-0) Held up towards rear, moderate 8th halfway, no impression from 4 out, moderate 7th before 2 out, kept on one pace, 6th of 10, 25l behind Cailin Annamh (11-7) at Kilbeggan 2m 3f mrs nov hdl gf.