PADDY O DEE beat today's rival Darenjan by a long way over fences at Galway in August and went up 9lb so Philip Rothwell has sent him over hurdles and he's obliged in his last two races. He has more to do here but is in such great shape that he's given the nod to complete a hat-trick. Darenjan has definitely improved and beat subsequent winner Uncle Tom Cobley easily at Ballinrobe last time though he was a long way behind Instant Impacked earlier and the latter must be considered despite a break since Christmas. Far Away So Close is the class act of the race but has only won once over fences and keeps climbing the weights. He was 10 lengths behind Carlowsantana in a strong Fairyhouse handicap last month and it's that winner who looks the main threat as he jumped superbly under Ian McCarthy whose 3lb claim is a massive bonus.
Far Away So Close (IRE) 14-1 (10-11) Always prominent, improved to dispute lead from 3 out, ridden to lead narrowly before last, headed early flat, kept on same pace run-in, 2nd of 15, 1 1/4l behind Twinlight (11-10) at Punchestown 2m hcp chs hvy in Apr.
Shot From The Hip (GER) 14-1 (9-12) Mid-division, weakened from 6 out, pulled up before next, in a race won by Bob Lingo (10-3) at Galway 2m 6f hcp chs gd in Aug, 20 ran.
Darenjan (IRE) 11-1 (10-13) Chased leaders, 5th halfway, headway into 3rd 4 out, 2nd next, improved to lead entering straight, ridden and kept on well from before last, stretched clear run-in, won at Thurles 2m hcp chs gd in Apr beating Uncle Tom Cobley (10-13) by 8l, 9 ran.
Toostrong (FR) 11-2 (11-12) Disputed early, soon chased leaders, 4th halfway, headway into 2nd 5 out, challenged 3 out, led next, ridden and kept on well run-in, won at Gowran Park 2m 4f beg chase gd in Apr beating Chino Valdes (11-9) by 4l, 12 ran.
Carlowsantana (IRE) 25-1 (10-1) Jumped well, made all and clear from 3rd, 10 lengths ahead halfway, reduced advantage approaching last, ridden and kept on well run-in, won at Fairyhouse 2m 1f nov chs in Apr beating Pass The Hat (10-6) by 7l, 10 ran.
Miradane 14-1 (11-2) Tracked leaders, 4th 4 out, no impression from next, behind when mistake last, last of 7, well behind Dedigout (11-2) at Naas 2m 4f nov chs Grd 3 (1) sft in Mar.
Tribes And Banner (IRE) 9-2 (11-8) Soon disputed lead, slight mistake 2nd, headed approaching 4th, soon moderate 2nd, lost place approaching straight, soon no impression, kept on same pace, 4th of 6, 15l behind Rattan (11-12) at Listowel 2m hdl sft in Sep.
Peak Raider (IRE) 14-1 (10-10) Towards rear, no extra from before 4 out, pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Competitive Edge (10-10) at Gowran Park 2m 2f hcp chs hvy in Mar, 14 ran.
Protaras (USA) 13-2 (10-7) Always towards rear, pulled up before 4 out, in a race won by Lead Kindly Light (10-5) at Fairyhouse 2m 1f hcp chs sft in Dec, 14 ran.
Absolutlyfantastic 3-1 (11-6) Attempted to make all, tried to assert into straight, pressed from 2 out, not match winner and headed run-in, kept on same pace, 2nd of 7, 3 1/2l behind Leah Claire (10-8) at Limerick 2m hdl gd in Apr.
Instant Impacked (IRE) 9-1 (10-3) Tracked leaders in 7th, progress into 4th 3 out, 3rd approaching 2 out, 4th straight, kept on same pace, 5th of 16, 7l behind Jacksonslady (10-13) at Leopardstown 2m 1f hcp chs sft in Dec.
Good Decision (IRE) 5-1 (11-5) Towards rear, never a factor, pulled up before last, in a race won by Alf Wright (10-6) at Wexford 2m 3f hcp chs 0-130 gd in Oct, 15 ran.
Paddy O Dee 3-1fav (10-13) Made all, clear travelling well 3 out, stayed on strongly from last, not extended, won at Downpatrick 2m 2f hcp hdl 80-109 gd in Apr beating World Citizen (9-12) by 6l, 8 ran.
Castle Genie (IRE) 7-2 (11-7) Waited with towards rear, headway 4 out, 6th before 2 out, soon no impression, kept on same pace, 7th of 18, 7l behind De Benno (11-5) at Cork 2m 3f Amateur Handicap Hurdle (80-102) (4yo+) in Apr.