Jody McGarvey gave TAKE A SHOT a superb ride at Down Royal on Boxing Day and the combination can follow up as a 6lb rise isn't excessive. Runner-up Popaflora should get closer on the revised terms but the winner had a bit in hand and should confirm the form. Yeoman has won once in 19 starts over fences and is now on his highest ever mark following his second place behind Ponmeword at Limerick while Torremuelle has an even worse strike-rate though he almost doubled his winning tally at Tramore on New Year's Eve and looks the main threat if able to repeat.
Take A Shot (IRE) 6-1 (11-5) Settled towards rear, headway approaching straight and ridden to go 2nd 3 out, led before next and kept on under pressure run-in, won at Down Royal 2m 4f hcp chs 0-95 hvy in Dec beating Popaflora (10-3) by 1 1/2l, 11 ran.
Yeoman (FR) 8-1 (10-12) Tracked leaders, a bit slow 3rd, lost place a bit 6 out, 4th into straight, 3rd and no impression 2 out, kept on, 2nd of 10, 6l behind Ponmeword (10-6) at Limerick 2m 3f hcp chs 0-109 hvy in Dec.
Nivek's Dream (IRE) 9-1 (11-5) Towards rear when fell 3rd, in a race won by Take A Shot (11-5) at Down Royal 2m 4f hcp chs 0-95 hvy in Dec, 11 ran.
Noble Commander (IRE) 12-1 (11-5) Tracked leaders, 8th 4 out, soon ridden and no impression, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Robertstown Rover (9-5) at Fairyhouse 2m 5f hcp chs 0-102 sft in Dec, 16 ran.
Royalor (FR) 66-1 (11-5) Always towards rear, 9th of 12, well behind Lord Windermere (11-12) at Leopardstown 2m 3f beg chs sft in Dec.
Torremuelle (IRE) 16-1 (9-8) Soon tracked leaders, close up in 2nd after 3 out, struggling to get to winner when left with a chance last, kept on well and every chance run-in, just denied, 2nd of 8, ns behind Count Salazar (11-4) at Tramore 2m 5f hcp chs 0-109 hvy in Dec.
Letterlee Star (IRE) 16-1 (11-5) Tracked leaders, weakened rapidly from 6th, pulled up before next, in a race won by Lady Olwyn (11-11) at Fairyhouse 2m 4f hcp hdl 80-102 sft in Nov, 13 ran.
Popaflora 12-1 (10-3) Led, headed before 7th but remained prominent, disputed again approaching straight, ridden and headed approaching 2 out, kept on under pressure but no impression on winner run-in, 2nd of 11, 1 1/2l behind Take A Shot (11-5) at Down Royal 2m 4f hcp chs 0-95 hvy in Dec.
Star Of Hollywood (IRE) 16-1 (9-11) Tracked leaders, lost place and no extra 6 out, pulled up after 3 out, in a race won by Preswell Lad (10-12) at Tramore 2m 5f hcp chs 0-95 hvy, 12 ran.