Savello has been well beaten against classy novices after completing a double in the spring and makes his handicap debut in this tough contest, though he remains a nice prospect. Fosters Cross has been hurdling without too much success and would probably prefer quicker ground. He was a long way behind Protaras at Cork last month and the latter made early mistakes and eventually pulled up at Fairyhouse next time. Rubert has gone up 7lb for a battling victory at Clonmel and that could rule out a follow-up while King Vuvuzela also jumped moderately at Punchestown last month after scoring there in October. GENTLEMAN DUKE landed a beginners' chase at Thurles before making his handicap debut in a very tough Fairyhouse handicap where he did very well to finish a close fifth with the experienced On The Way Out just behind. That was only his fourth start over fences and, with more to come, he is handed the vote.
Savello (IRE) 12-1 (11-4) Close up, dropped to moderate 3rd approaching straight, badly hampered 3 out, soon no impression, 4th of 7, 25l behind Twinlight (11-10) at Cork 2m chs Grd 2 (1) sft.
Fosters Cross (IRE) 14-1 (11-6) Prominent, on terms 3 out, narrowly headed next, soon dropped to 3rd and no impression, left moderate 2nd and kept on same pace from last, 2nd of 11, 10l behind Upazo (11-6) at Fairyhouse 2m hdl.
Shanpallas (IRE) 7-2 (11-4) Held up in 5th, pushed along and no impression from 6 out, 5th of 6, 37l behind Toner D'Oudairies (11-12) at Listowel 2m 4f nov chs sft in Sep.
Perfect Smile (IRE) 7-1 (11-1) Mid-division, 8th 3 out, headway on inner entering straight, 4th 2 out, soon ridden in 2nd, 3rd at last, no extra run-in, 3rd of 13, 2 1/4l behind Sraid Padraig (10-13) at Fairyhouse 2m 1f in Nov.
Protaras (USA) 10-1 (11-0) In rear, mistake 2nd, trailing 5 out, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Sraid Padraig (10-13) at Fairyhouse 2m 1f in Nov, 13 ran.
Cairdin (IRE) 12-1 (11-12) Tracked leader in 3rd, 2nd after 3 out but soon no impression on winner, kept on one pace from 2 out,, 2nd of 16, 10l behind Trifolium (11-12) at Thurles 2m 2f beg chs in Nov.
Elegant Statesman (IRE) 8-1 (11-12) Tracked leaders, 5th approaching 3 out, soon no extra, 5th of 8, 49l behind Mozoltov (11-12) at Fairyhouse 2m beg chs.
Rubert (IRE) 10-1 (11-3) Led and disputed, in front from before last where good jump to assert, stayed on well run-in, won at Clonmel 2m 3f hcp chs in Nov beating New Phase (10-10) by 2 3/4l, 10 ran.
Gentleman Duke (IRE) 7-1 (10-5) Tracked leaders, 6th 4 out, soon ridden, kept on same pace straight, 5th of 13, 6l behind Sraid Padraig (10-13) at Fairyhouse 2m 1f in Nov.
On The Way Out (IRE) 16-1 (10-4) Mid-division, 7th 4 out, headway from next, ridden in 2nd 2 out, no impression before last, 6th of 13, 7l behind Sraid Padraig (10-13) at Fairyhouse 2m 1f in Nov.
Glibin (IRE) 6-1 (10-7) Chased leaders and 6th halfway, slight mistake 9th, ridden approaching 3 out and no extra from 2 out, 7th of 9, 12l behind She's Got Grit (9-10) at Fairyhouse 2m 4f hcp chs.
Ros Brin (IRE) 16-1 (11-2) Chased leader in 4th, closer before halfway, ridden approaching straight and no impression from 2 out, kept on same pace, last of 4, 7l behind White Star Line (11-12) at Clonmel 2m 4f chs in Oct.
King Vuvuzela (IRE) 2-1fav (11-0) Mid-division on inner, slightly hampered 2nd, dropped to rear 8th, moderate 8th 4 out, ridden from next, 5th entering straight, left 4th 2 out, 4th at last when left 3rd, kept on same pace run-in, 3rd of 13, 13l behind Tinakellylad (10-12) at Punchestown 2m 6f hcp chs 0-130 in Nov.
Decade Player (IRE) 14-1 (11-1) Prominent, not always fluent jumping, dropped to 4th 2 out, soon weakened, 10th of 16, 47l behind Luke's Benefit (10-12) at Fairyhouse 2m hcp hdl 80-109.
Mitebeall Forluck 7-1 (11-5) In rear, pushed along 3rd, improved from before 4 out, soon chased leaders, 3rd at last, stayed on well run-in to lead on line,, won at Clonmel 2m hcp chs 0-116 gd beating Tellherimnothere (10-7) by hd, 9 ran.