FLEMENSTAR had Sir Des Champs 5l behind when landing this a year ago when Rubi Light, who had been successful in 2011, was a distance behind. The winner, like this year, had a fitness advantage over his big rival and is much better suited to this trip so looks the one to be on. The runner-up reversed the form over 3m at Leopardstown in February before his briliant performances in the Gold Cups at Cheltenham and Punchestown. His stablemate, Arvika Ligeonniere, had a tremendous novice career over fences landing three Grade 1's. He put a poor effort in the Arkle behind him to win the Ryanair at Punchestown and reappeared with an impressive Grade 2 victory at Clonmel when Rubi Light was well beaten.
Arvika Ligeonniere (FR) 4-5fav (11-8) Tracked leader in 2nd, hit 5th, not fluent 4 out, on terms before straight, soon led, clear last, ridden out run-in, comfortably, won at Clonmel 2m 4f chs Grd 2 (1) in Nov beating Toner D'Oudairies (11-4) by 3 1/2l, 6 ran.
Flemenstar (IRE) 1-4fav (11-12) Tracked leader in 2nd, led 3 out, ridden out to maintain advantage run-in, won at Navan 2m chs Grd 2 (1) in Nov beating Days Hotel (11-10) by 1 1/4l, 4 ran.
Rubi Light (FR) 6-1 (11-12) Attempted to make all, joined before straight, soon headed and dropped to last from before 2 out, eased, last of 6, 23l behind Arvika Ligeonniere (11-8) at Clonmel 2m 4f chs Grd 2 (1) in Nov.
Sir Des Champs (FR) 2-1fav (11-10) Chased leaders, 4th halfway, niggled along briefly before 4 out, 3rd 4 out, led next, ridden entering straight, went left at last, strongly pressed run-in, kept on well under pressure, won at Punchestown 3m 1f chs G1 (1) sft in Apr beating Long Run (11-10) by 3/4l, 8 ran.