Willie Mullins had five of the original entries and relies on Vautour, who has impressed since arriving from France and landed a Grade 2 at Punchestown last time. He's on the upgrade and will be difficult to beat. Azorian had looked a staying type in his early races over hurdles but failed to last out over 3m at Limerick in December and finished a long way behind Faugheen. Quickpick Vic was always travelling sweetly when easily accounting for Stuccodor in a 2m maiden here last month and is progressing but this is very much tougher. THE TULLOW TANK has already won twice at this level and though neither was the best Grade 1 ever seen he won the Future Champions here in December with real authority from King Of The Picts and the longer trip will be in his favour. He's handed the vote to complete a five-timer.
Azorian (IRE) 11-4 (11-0) Raced in 4th, closer in 2nd 5 out, ridden approaching straight, soon no extra in 3rd, dropped to 4th 2 out where left 3rd again,, 3rd of 7, 36l behind Faugheen (11-3) at Limerick 3m nov hdl Grd 3 (1) hvy in Dec.
Quickpick Vic (IRE) 6-1 (11-12) Took keen hold, made all, slight mistake 3 out, in command straight, stayed on well, comfortably, won at Leopardstown 2m mdn hdl in Jan beating Stuccodor (11-10) by 10l, 16 ran.
The Tullow Tank (IRE) 9-4 (11-10) Chased leaders, 4th from 4 out, 3rd straight, led before last, stayed on strongly closing stages to assert, won at Leopardstown 2m nov hdl Grade 1 (1) sft in Dec beating King of The Picts (11-7) by 8l, 7 ran.
Draycott Place (IRE) 12-1 (10-12) Soon led, joined 3 out and headed entering straight, soon no extra, 9th of 16, 41l behind Pairofbrowneyes (11-1) at Fairyhouse 2m 4f mdn hdl in Jan.
King of The Picts (IRE) 33-1 (11-7) Led, clear early, reduced lead and joined from 4 out, slight lead approaching straight, headed before last and soon no impression, 2nd of 7, 8l behind The Tullow Tank (11-10) at Leopardstown 2m nov hdl Grade 1 (1) sft in Dec.
Vautour (FR) 1-4fav (11-0) Chased leaders, 3rd halfway, improved to lead entering straight, ridden and challenged last, strongly pressed run-in and disputed briefly, asserted close home, won at Punchestown 2m nov hdl Grade 2 (1) in Jan beating Western Boy (11-0) by 3/4l, 6 ran.