This is invariably won by a two-miler of the highest class as it was last year when the brilliant SIZING EUROPE beat the previous year's winner Big Zeb by 15 lengths. Henry De Bromhead's champion lost his Queen Mother title to Finian's Rainbow on his next start but has hardly put a foot wrong subsequently, though not having everything all his own way against Rubi Light at Leopardstown last time. Foildubh needs to find 24lb on official ratings and hasn't been at his best this season. He was a couple of lengths behind Blazing Tempo when they occupied the minor berths in the Hilly Way at Cork in December and Willie Mullins' consistent performer may prove second best here as neither Imperial Shabra nor Kylebeg Krystle have a hope on all known form.
Sizing Europe (IRE) 1-3fav (11-12) Led and disputed, led before 2 out, niggled along before last, ridden after last, kept on under pressure, won at Leopardstown 2m 1f Grade 1 chs (1) sft in Dec beating Rubi Light (11-12) by 2 1/2l, 5 ran.
Foildubh (IRE) 6-1 (11-3) Settled in rear when badly hampered 6th, not recover and pulled up after next, in a race won by Quito De La Roque (11-10) at Thurles 2m 4f chs Grd 2 (1) hvy in Jan, 8 ran.
Imperial Shabra (IRE) 66-1 (10-13) Chased leader, lost touch from 4 out and weakened, completely tailed off, last of 6, well behind Solwhit (10-13) at Naas 2m 3f hdl Gr3 (1) hvy in Jan.
Blazing Tempo (IRE) 2-1 (11-5) Raced last of the 4, slightly slow jump 8th, no impression under pressure and kept on same pace from before 2 out, 3rd of 4, 13l behind Roi Du Mee (11-12) at Tramore 2m 5f lst chs (1) hvy in Jan.
Kylebeg Krystle (IRE) 20-1 (10-3) Mid-division, weakened from 3 out, 10th of 11, 29l behind Avondhu Lady (10-8) at Fairyhouse 2m 4f hcp chs sft in Dec.