Saludos has a penalty for a Grade 2 success over 2m at Navan in February but ran well enough behind Kauto Stone at Down Royal on Saturday to suggest he is progressing. Imperial Shabra was beaten a long way in that latter event and looks held. QUEL ESPRIT had no luck whatsoever after making a winning start to his chasing career at Limerick a year ago. He was still there with every chance when falling in the highest class at Leopardstown and Cheltenham before being brought down in the Champion Novice Chase at Punchestown. He's potentially very useful and can get back on track here. Foildubh was in front when falling on his chasing debut at Roscommon and was by no means disgraced in a decent event won by Sweeps Hill at Galway.
Saludos (IRE) 7-1 (11-10) Held up, headway into 3rd 4 out, slight mistake 3 out, ridden and no extra before 2 out, kept on same pace, 4th of 5, 15l behind Kauto Stone (11-11) at Down Royal 2m 4f chs Grd 2 (1) sft.
Quel Esprit (FR) 7-4fav (11-10) Disputed lead, led from 4th, hampered by loose horse on landing 11th and brought down, in a race won by Quito De La Roque (11-10) at Punchestown 3m 1f nov chs G1 (1) gd in May, 8 ran.
Foildubh (IRE) 7-1 (11-1) Chased leader, mistake 2nd, slight mistake 4 out, closed 2 out, slight mistake last, soon ridden, 3rd and no extra from under 1f out, kept on same pace, 3rd of 6, 9l behind Sweeps Hill (11-1) at Galway 2m 1f nov chs (1) hvy in Oct.
Imperial Shabra (IRE) 33-1 (11-1) Chased leaders, mainly 3rd, ridden and weakened 4 out, tailed off, last of 5, 46l behind Kauto Stone (11-11) at Down Royal 2m 4f chs Grd 2 (1) sft.