Carlingford Lough had his biggest day in the Galway Plate in July then proved that he is a very smart staying prospect here in December and a strong gallop and testing ground will play to his strengths. DON COSSACK had beaten him narrowly but comfortably in the Grade 1 Bar One at Fairyhouse earlier and Gordon Elliott's charge is looking a very smart prospect so gets the nod. Ballycasey made a very impressive start over fences when beating the useful Mount Colah at Navan over a trip much too short. He's another exciting recruit to chasing making this a fascinating contest.
Ballycasey (IRE) 4-6fav (11-12) Tracked leaders in 3rd, mistake 6th, pushed along and closed on leaders after 3 out, ridden to lead before last, stayed on well run-in, comfortably, won at Navan 2m 1f beg chs in Nov beating Mount Colah (11-5) by 8l, 11 ran.
Carlingford Lough (IRE) 5-1 (11-10) Held up in last, 6th 4 out, progress in 5th 2 out, ridden to challenge last and slight mistake, kept on well to lead run-in, won at Leopardstown 3m nov chs Grade 1 (4yo+) (1) in Dec beating Morning Assembly (11-10) by 1 1/2l, 7 ran.
Don Cossack (GER) 13-8fav (11-10) Tracked leaders, 4th halfway, jumped left 2 out and soon switched right, ridden to challenge last, led run-in and kept on under pressure, won at Fairyhouse 2m 4f nov chs Grade 1 (4yo+) (1) in Dec beating Carlingford Lough (11-10) by 1 3/4l, 6 ran.