A Grade 1 winner over hurdles at Punchestown in April, Marasonnien is an exciting recruit to chasing. However, IPSOS DU BERLAIS was just as good over hurdles, despite being pulled up in the above race at Punchestown, and made a promising start over fences when second at Galway in October. He's taken to make the most of his fitness advantage and come out best on this occasion. The remainder have some improving to do to match the principal contenders but The Westener Boy and Toon River should both give a good account regardless.
Ipsos Du Berlais (FR) 9-2 (11-12) Tracked leaders, 3rd into straight, went in pursuit of winner from over 1f out, kept on same pace inside final furlong, 2nd of 13, 2 1/4l behind Lyreen Legend (11-10) at Galway 2m 6f beg chs hvy in Oct.
Marasonnien (FR) 12-1 (11-10) Settle behind leaders on rail, headway into 4th before 5 out, improved in 2nd 2 out, led entering straight, ridden and kept on well from last, won at Punchestown 3m nov hdl Grade 1 (1) hvy in Apr beating Vesper Bell (11-10) by 3l, 12 ran.
Toon River (IRE) 20-1 (11-9) Led, joined approaching 3 out and headed before next, no impression on winner approaching last, kept on same pace, 2nd of 11, 11l behind Aupcharlie (11-12) at Gowran Park 2m 4f beg chs hvy in Nov.
Tusa Eire (IRE) 16-1 (11-12) Mid-division, 7th entering straight, soon no extra and weakened, fell last, in a race won by A Fine Young Man (11-12) at Naas 3m mdn hdl in Mar, 18 ran.
Whats On The Menu (IRE) 22-1 (11-12) Chased leaders, 3rd halfway, ridden to challenge 2 out, no extra in 3rd before last, kept on one pace, 3rd of 7, 15l behind Mount Benbulben (11-12) at Fairyhouse 2m 5f beg chs sft.
Coolking 8-1 (12-0) Tracked leaders, 3rd halfway, ridden in 4th 3 out and soon no extra, behind when pulled up before next, in a race won by Happy New Year (11-6) at Limerick 2m 5f am hcp hdle 80-95 hvy in Nov, 14 ran.
North Star Lad (IRE) 33-1 (11-12) Always towards rear, mistake 3rd, tailed off, 12th of 16, well behind Marito (11-12) at Thurles 2m 2f beg chs hvy in Nov.
The Westener Boy (IRE) 7-2 (11-12) Tracked leaders, 5th halfway, went 3rd after 3 out, ridden and no impression approaching last, no extra run-in, 3rd of 9, 17l behind Texas Jack (11-12) at Naas 2m 3f beg chs in Nov.