Willie Mullins won this a year ago with Hurricane Fly when Luska Lad ran the race of his life in third with the winner's stablemate THOUSAND STARS, who was returning from a long break, just behind in fourth. The latter brilliantly landed a Grade 1 over 3m2f at Auteuil in June before reverting to the minimum trip and making all when comfortably beating Oscars Well in the Morgiana at Punchestown. He'll take some beating here though the mare Voler La Vedette and filly Unaccompanied look worthy opponents. The former is a superb performer over further and gained her first Grade 1 success when beating Mourad over 2m4f at Fairyhouse while Dermot Weld's youngster, runner-up in the Triumph Hurdle in March, is a specialist over the trip and brings plenty of allowances into the race. The Real Article was behind Voler La Vedette at Fairyhouse but this is his trip as he showed when slamming Luska Lad at Tipperary in October.
Gimli's Rock (IRE) 14-1 (11-10) Towards rear, niggled along in last approaching 4 out, no impression from before straight, 5th of 6, 26l behind The Real Article (11-4) at Tipperary 2m hdl G2 (1) sft in Oct.
Luska Lad (IRE) 3-1 (11-10) Chased leader, improved to lead 4 out, strongly pressed 2 out, soon headed and no impression, kept on same pace, 2nd of 6, 8l behind The Real Article (11-4) at Tipperary 2m hdl G2 (1) sft in Oct.
Moon Dice (IRE) 11-2 (11-6) Tracked leaders, not much room and switched left to inside approaching last, ridden and kept on flat, 4th of 23, 3 1/2l behind Brampour (11-4) at Cheltenham 2m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) gs in Nov.
Oscars Well (IRE) 2-1 (11-10) Chased leader in 2nd, ridden entering straight, no extra approaching last, kept on same pace, 2nd of 4, 6l behind Thousand Stars (11-10) at Punchestown 2m hdl G1 (1) sft in Nov.
The Real Article (IRE) 10-3 (11-10) Tracked leaders in 3rd, pushed along to challenge entering straight, no impression in 4th after 2 out, kept on one pace under pressure without troubling winner, 3rd of 4, 4l behind Voler La Vedette (11-3) at Fairyhouse 2m 4f hdl G1 (1) sft.
Thousand Stars (FR) 5-4fav (11-10) Made all, ridden to assert approaching last, kept on strongly run-in, comfortably, won at Punchestown 2m hdl G1 (1) sft in Nov beating Oscars Well (11-10) by 6l, 4 ran.
Voler La Vedette (IRE) 7-4 (11-3) Held up in touch, headway on outer to challenge 2 out, soon led and asserted before last, kept on well run-in, won at Fairyhouse 2m 4f hdl G1 (1) sft beating Mourad (11-10) by 4l, 4 ran.
Unaccompanied (IRE) 1-2fav (11-0) Tracked leaders in 3rd, left 2nd from 4th, smooth headway to challenge last, led early run-in and kept on well, easily, won at Naas 2m 4yo lst hdl (1) in Nov beating Sailors Warn (11-7) by 3l, 6 ran.