ARVIKA LIGEONNIERE has won six times over fences, three at Grade 1 level, and has to be the selection despite a less than convincing run behind Benefficient and Hidden Cyclone in the Dial-A-Bet at Leopardstown. He looked better over 2m4f at Clonmel earlier when Toner D'Oudairies was beaten 3l but he's still in the Champion Chase as well as the Ryanair and Gold Cup at Cheltenham. Rathlin had Hidden Cyclone 6l behind at Naas in July but that was over 2m6f and this looks too short. Special Tiara was 33l behind the selection on heavy ground over this course and distance last April though that came too soon after he gained a shock victory over a top field of two-milers on good going in the Grade 1 Maghull at Aintree.
Arvika Ligeonniere (FR) 7-4fav (11-12) Held up towards rear, closer order 6 out, 4th approaching 2 out, 3rd before straight, kept on one pace under pressure run-in, 3rd of 7, 1 1/4l behind Benefficient (11-12) at Leopardstown 2m 1f chs G1 (1) sft in Dec.
Special Tiara 7-1 (11-5) Led, clear 5th until after 9th, headed 2 out, kept on same pace after, 3rd of 7, 6l behind Kid Cassidy (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m lst chs (1) gd in Nov.
Rathlin 7-1 (10-13) Chased leaders, moderate 4th 4 out, dropped to 5th and no extra from before straight, 5th of 6, 38l behind Rule The World (11-8) at Naas 2m 3f hdl Gr3 (1) sft in Jan.
Toner D'Oudairies (FR) 3-1 (11-10) Tracked leaders in 3rd, progress to go 2nd 8th, left in front 4 out, pushed along after 2 out, ridden and kept on well run-in, won at Thurles 2m 2f lst chs (1) hvy in Jan beating Letter Of Credit (11-3) by 2l, 4 ran.