Willie Mullins had three of the original eight entries and relies on VAUTOUR, who will be a short-priced favourite. By the same sire as Sir Des Champs and out of a mare who won 20 races in France, he made a very pleasing start for new connections at Navan and is already at the head of the market for the Supreme Novices. Western Boy takes a huge leap in class having landed a bumper and a maiden hurdle though he's very progressive. Mr Fiftyone had a similar profile before stepping up in class and running well behind Diakali in a Naas Grade 3 but couldn't quite handle Grade 1 company when 13 lengths behind The Tullow Tank in the Royal Bond at Fairyhouse. Chicago ploughed through the Limerick mud when making all for an impressive victory in a Limerick maiden while Captainofthefleet also looked at home in very testing conditions on the same track but Easter Hunt has done nothing to suggest he can live with these.
Captainofthefleet (IRE) 4-1 (11-12) Prominent in chasing group, improved to lead from 3 out, travelling smoothly before straight, went well clear from before 2 out, stayed on well, easily,, won at Limerick 2m 5f mdn hdl hvy in Dec beating Kerrieonvic (11-12) by 17l, 10 ran.
Chicago (IRE) 9-2 (11-7) Soon led, clear approaching 6 out, travelling smoothly from 3 out, in command and stayed on well straight, comfortably,, won at Limerick 2m 4yo mdn hdl hvy in Dec beating Blow The Doors Off (11-7) by 11l, 16 ran.
Easter Hunt (IRE) 5-2fav (11-7) Prominent, moderate 2nd approaching 6 out, ridden from 3 out, no impression straight, dropped to 3rd close home,, 3rd of 16, 12l behind Chicago (11-7) at Limerick 2m 4yo mdn hdl hvy in Dec.
Mr Fiftyone (IRE) 11-1 (11-7) Tracked leader and 3rd halfway, ridden 2 out and no impression in 6th before last, no extra run-in, 6th of 10, 13l behind The Tullow Tank (11-10) at Fairyhouse 2m nov hdl Grade 1 (1) in Dec.
Vautour (FR) 1-2fav (11-7) Tracked leaders, close 3rd travelling well 3 out, improved to lead next, went clear at last, stayed on strongly run-in, impressive, won at Navan 2m 4yo mdn hdl in Dec beating Lieutenant Colonel (11-7) by 6l, 30 ran.
Western Boy (IRE) 12-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders, 7th halfway, progress entering straight and ridden to lead before last, asserted run-in and kept on well,, won at Leopardstown 2m 4yo mdn hdl sft in Dec beating Kylestyle (11-7) by 3 1/2l, 17 ran.