This is Big Zeb's race with him having won it three times in the past four years. However, once again he comes up against the brilliant SIZING EUROPE and Henry De Bromhead's star can't be opposed. He had Big Zeb 15 lengths behind when landing the Tied Cottage at Punchestown in February and has returned to action better than ever, cruising to victory in a couple of Grade 2s over 2m4f and setting himself up for the championship races to come. It's hard to imagine Rubi Light having the pace to match the champion as his best form has been over 2m4f, which included the John Durkan a year ago. Forpadydeplasterer was six lengths behind Big Zeb in this last year while Paul Nicholls' entry Edgardo Sol lacks experience over fences though he wouldn't be travelling here without good reason and A P McCoy has been booked.
Big Zeb (IRE) 9-2 (11-12) Settled 4th, 3rd 5 out, pushed along 3 out, 2nd 2 out, soon ridden and no impression, kept on same pace, 2nd of 5, 7l behind Flemenstar (11-9) at Navan 2m chs Grd 2 (1) in Nov.
Edgardo Sol (FR) 7-2 (11-3) Held up in touch, headway 3 out, soon ridden to challenge, stayed on well closing stages, never reached winner, 2nd of 6, 2l behind Lyvius (10-7) at Newbury 2m lst hcp hdl (0-150) (1) sft in Nov.
Foildubh (IRE) 9-2 (11-4) Chased leaders, 4th halfway, ridden in 5th entering straight, kept on one pace, 4th of 7, 13l behind Days Hotel (11-10) at Cork 2m chs Grd 2 (1) sft.
Forpadydeplasterer (IRE) 3-1 (11-10) Settled in 5th, went 3rd 4 out and mistake next, 2nd entering straight and led last, driven out and kept on well run-in, won at Thurles 3m chs hvy in Nov beating Snooze (10-12) by 6l, 6 ran.
Rubi Light (FR) 6-1 (11-10) Tracked leader in 2nd, dropped to 3rd and ridden before 2 out, soon no extra and eased, last of 3, 34l behind Flemenstar (11-10) at Punchestown 2m 4f Grade 1 chs (1) hvy.
Sizing Europe (IRE) 1-7fav (11-12) Tracked leaders in 3rd early, 2nd 4th, improved to lead 4 out, went clear after 3 out, very easily, won at Clonmel 2m 4f chs Grd 2 (1) sft in Nov beating Magnanimity (11-10) by 20l, 5 ran.
Blazing Tempo (IRE) 11-8fav (11-3) Chased leaders, 3rd halfway, improved to lead before 3 out, ridden and headed before 2 out, under pressure in 4th 2 out, kept on one pace to 3rd run-in, 3rd of 7, 11l behind Days Hotel (11-10) at Cork 2m chs Grd 2 (1) sft.