Jessica Harrington likes this race and has won it twice recently while Willie Mullins has been successful in the last two. The former is represented by Mr Fiftyone, who wasn't quite up to the task in this grade behind Vautour at Punchestown. The champion trainer has Sure Reef engaged and though potentially useful he'll need to show great improvement from his maiden victory over the course and distance. Double Irish had run poorly on his first two starts over timber but it was a different matter here last month when he was a very impressive winner over a decent field of maidens. Gallant Tipp overcame jumping problems to score over 3m at Thurles and, though he looked fortunate, there is plenty more to come from him as there is from winning point-to-pointer and bumper Wounded Warrior, another who overcame mistakes to score at Navan. MOONSHINE LAD would have been chasing a five-timer but for falling at Fairyhouse and could hardly have been more impressive last time on heavy ground at Limerick. This is tougher but he's given the nod to continue his progress.
Double Irish (IRE) 16-1 (11-12) Prominent, mainly 2nd, on terms approaching 2 out, soon led, travelling smoothly early straight, clear from before last, easily, won at Leopardstown 2m mdn hdl sft in Dec beating Champagne James (11-12) by 13l, 8 ran.
Gallant Tipp (IRE) 9-2 (11-10) Chased leaders in 4th, 3rd halfway, closed when mistake 3 out, ridden to lead before next, challenged last where left in front, kept on run-in,, won at Thurles 2m 6f nov hdl in Nov beating Perfect Gentleman (11-10) by 3/4l, 6 ran.
Gilt Shadow (IRE) 9-2 (11-10) Tracked leader in 2nd, slight mistake 2nd, ridden entering straight and no extra after 2 out, dropped to 8th before last and eased run-in, 8th of 10, 22l behind The Tullow Tank (11-10) at Fairyhouse 2m nov hdl Grade 1 (1) in Dec.
Moonshine Lad (IRE) 1-2fav (11-12) Chased leaders in 3rd, closer order approaching 6 out, 2nd after 4 out, closed up travelling smoothly before straight, soon led, clear from before 2 out, stayed on well, comfortably, won at Limerick 2m 3f 5yo mdn hdl hvy in Dec beating Highbrow Blue (11-5) by 9l, 13 ran.
Mr Fiftyone (IRE) 8-1 (11-0) Chased leader, 2nd halfway, slight mistake and ridden 2 out, no extra in 4th entering straight, kept on one pace to 3rd run-in, 3rd of 6, 12l behind Vautour (11-0) at Punchestown 2m nov hdl Grade 2 (1).
Sure Reef (IRE) 5-2fav (11-7) Tracked leaders, not fluent 2nd, 5th halfway, went 3rd approaching 2 out and progress to challenge last, ridden to lead run-in and stayed on well final 100 yards, won at Leopardstown 2m 4f 4yo mdn hdl sft in Dec beating Shield (11-7) by 3 1/2l, 10 ran.
Wounded Warrior (IRE) 1-2fav (11-9) Soon tracked leaders, closed up travelling smoothly before 3 out where slight mistake, close 2nd 2 out, led run-in, pushed out and stayed on well to assert closing stages, won at Navan 2m 7f mdn hdl sft beating Leavethelighton (11-9) by 2 3/4l, 10 ran.