Tranquil Sea won this last year when Cooldine and Trafford Lad were behind while Joncol scored the previous year. Joncol had Cooldine a long way behind when both returned at Thurles but the latter was only a neck behind him in the Hennessy at Leopardstown last year. RUBI LIGHT has yet to do it at the very highest level but this could be his time. The six-year-old, a close third to Albertas Run at Cheltenham in March, would have made a winning reappearance in a Grade 2 at Gowran in October but for falling at the last and has the scope to be a potential champion at this trip. Kempes had Joncol behind when landing this year's Hennessy and a recent spin over hurdles will have put him straight, while Roi Du Mee was a cracking novice last season and his two runs this term suggest he's still progressing.
Cooldine (IRE) 6-4fav (11-0) Led, travelling well entering straight, ridden and joined 2 out, soon headed, no impression on winner from last, 2nd of 4, 12l behind Joncol (11-10) at Thurles 2m 6f lst chs (1) in Nov.
Joncol (IRE) 7-4 (11-10) Raced 3rd, ridden in 2nd 3 out, disputed lead 2 out, soon led, went clear from last, stayed on well, won at Thurles 2m 6f lst chs (1) in Nov beating Cooldine (11-0) by 12l, 4 ran.
Kempes (IRE) 5-4fav (11-5) Tracked leader in 2nd, headway to lead entering straight, strongly pressed and headed after 2 out, soon no impression on winner and dropped to 3rd run-in, 3rd of 6, 4l behind New Phase (11-12) at Cork 2m hdl in Nov.
Roi Du Mee (FR) 3-1 (11-10) Led, headed before 5th, ridden in 2nd before 2 out, no impression winner, kept on same pace, 2nd of 5, 7l behind Kauto Stone (11-11) at Down Royal 2m 4f chs Grd 2 (1) sft in Nov.
Rubi Light (FR) 5-4 (11-8) Soon led, good jump 5 out and went on, reduced lead approaching straight, asserted from before 2 out and soon in command, drifted to right and fell last, remounted to finish 3rd, 3rd of 4, well behind Sizing Europe (11-10) at Gowran Park 2m 4f chs G2 (1) sft in Oct.
Trafford Lad 25-1 (11-4) Chased leaders in 3rd, ridden and no extra 3 out, 4th 2 out, kept on one pace, 4th of 5, 17l behind Big Zeb (11-12) at Navan 2m chs G2 (1) in Nov.
Tranquil Sea (IRE) 5-4fav (11-12) Tracked leaders in 3rd, slight mistake 4 out and soon pushed along, travelling well again entering straight and led before 2 out, kept on well from before last, won at Clonmel 2m 4f chs G2 (1) sft in Nov beating Psycho (11-8) by 4l, 4 ran.