SHRAPNEL hasn't always been the most straightforward but has improved since being sent to Gordon Elliott and there was plenty to like about his victory over Turban at Fairyhouse in November. He's been given a break and can complete a hat-trick though the latter's trainer, Willie Mullins, saddles both Sergeant Guib's and Pickapocketortwo. The former looks the best of the duo though he's been a little bit disappointing since arriving from France. Si C'Etait Vrai has been tackling much higher grade since making a winning debut over hurdles in 2010 and is no forlorn hope.
Fully Funded (USA) 25-1 (11-4) Chased leaders in 5th, ridden along in rear 4 out, no extra and weakened, last of 6, well behind Bog Warrior (11-4) at Punchestown 2m 4f hdl hvy in Dec.
Pickapocketortwo (IRE) 15-8fav (11-10) Chased leaders, fell 6th, in a race won by Archie Meade (11-10) at Sligo 2m 4f hdl gd in May, 9 ran.
Sergent Guib's (FR) 10-11fav (11-2) Tracked leaders in 3rd, went 2nd after 5 out, headway to dispute before 3 out, ridden and headed 2 out, kept on under pressure but not match winner run-in, 2nd of 4, 3/4l behind Shakervilz (11-3) at Kilbeggan 3m hdl gs in May.
Shrapnel (IRE) 2-1 (11-12) Prominent in chasing group, appeared to race a bit idly at times, ridden to lead before straight, pressed and stayed on well from before last, won at Fairyhouse 2m hdl sft in Nov beating Turban (11-12) by 3l, 9 ran.
Si C'etait Vrai (FR) 10-1 (11-3) Chased leaders, 3rd halfway, 5th 3 out, ridden in 8th and no extra 2 out, kept on one pace, 10th of 30, 17l behind Prince Rudi (10-6) at Leopardstown 3m hcp hdl sft in Dec.