With Patrick Mullins closing in on the amateur riders record for the number of winners in a year, UNION DUES is likely to come in for strong support and can supplement his impressive debut victory at Killarney in July. Champagne James looks a real find for Ted Walsh as he cruised through to score over the C&D last month while Gilt Shadow beat a big field at Down Royal easily though that race was run at a crawl. The remainder will need to improve to take care of the unbeaten trio.
Hilltop Tommy (IRE) 9-2 (11-7) Chased leader, 3rd halfway, improved to lead 4f out, ridden 2f out, headed 1 1/2f out, no extra in 3rd 1f out, kept on same pace final furlong to hold 3rd, 3rd of 9, 8l behind Apache Stronghold (11-4) at Down Royal 2m N H flat gd in Nov.
Rare Legend (IRE) 7-4 (12-0) Ld/disp, hdd bef 3out, disp again aftr 3out until 1l adv bef last, so, won at Boulta 3m ire ptp hvy in Nov beating Moonlight Boy (12-0) by 1 1/2l, 10 ran.
Champagne James (IRE) 15-8 (11-11) Settled moderate 4th, closer in 3rd 3f out, challenged under 1f out, nursed through to lead final 150 yards, cosily, won at Navan 2m N H flat in Nov beating Blackmail (11-11) by 2 1/4l, 5 ran.
Gilt Shadow (IRE) 14-1 (11-8) Soon chased leaders at ordinary pace, 7th halfway, closer order over 5f out, on terms 3f out, definite leader from 2f out, stayed on well and clear inside final furlong, comfortably, won at Down Royal 2m N H flat gs in Nov beating Silver Tassie (11-11) by 6l, 18 ran.
Union Dues (FR) 3-1fav (11-7) Waited with on outer, closed up travelling well 5f out, on terms over 4f out, in front from 3f out and ridden on from 2f out, running a bit green but stayed on well, comfortably, won at Killarney 2m 1f 4yo nhf in Jul beating Theos Well (11-0) by 4 1/2l, 16 ran.
Goldski (IRE) 16-1 (11-0) Mid-division, ridden in moderate 4th 3f out, kept on one paced, 4th of 10, 25l behind Fredsmemory (11-7) at Navan 2m N H flat hvy.
Hidden Lite (IRE) 10-1 (11-3) Tracked leaders, 6th 4f out, soon ridden and weakened, last of 19, well behind Joanne One (10-13) at Navan 2m mrs N H flat lst (1) hvy in Nov.