Edward O'Grady has won this twice in recent years but today's representative Manhattan Boy appears to have little chance of overturning recent form with CLARKEY. Christy Roche's charge looked a very promising type early last year but failed to deliver. However, he's found his form with a vengeance on his two latest starts, at Limerick in March and on his reappearance at Listowel last month where he had Manhattan Boy over 30 lengths behind. Whats Up Gorden looks a big threat if staying on his feet as he scored on fast ground at Kilbeggan early last month and was there with every chance when unseating his rider at the second last at Listowel a few days later. Duers finished fifth in that latter race and has continued to run well but Norther Bay was a long way behind and will need to do much better.
Duers (IRE) 12-1 (10-0) Rear of mid-division, headway in 9th before straight, ridden into 7th 2 out, no impression in 6th last, kept on same pace run-in, 4th of 16, 8l behind Golden Kite (9-11) at Limerick 3m Ext hcp chs (1) gd.
Bohemian Lass (IRE) 10-1 (11-12) Mid-division best, moderate 8th 7 out, soon no extra, tailed off, last of 13, well behind Clarkey (10-3) at Limerick 2m 3f hcp chs 0-130 in Mar.
Norther Bay (FR) 5-1 (10-12) Mid-division, 8th halfway, ridden and weakened before 4 out, 13th of 18, 31l behind Gonebeyondrecall (11-1) at Listowel 2m 3f chs gd in Sep.
Whats Up Gorden (IRE) 8-1 (10-2) Chased leaders, 5th halfway, headway in 3rd 3 out, improved to challenge when bad mistake and unseated rider 2 out, in a race won by Gonebeyondrecall (11-1) at Listowel 2m 3f chs gd in Sep, 18 ran.
Old Si (IRE) 8-1 (11-8) Towards rear, 10th 4 out, no impression and kept on same pace from before straight, 6th of 11, 17l behind Having A Cut (11-2) at Roscommon 2m 5f hcp chs in Sep.
Manhattan Boy (GER) 16-1 (11-8) Soon tracked leaders, 5th 7 out, no extra from before straight, 9th of 16, 32l behind Clarkey (10-11) at Listowel 2m 1f hcp chs 0-123 gd in Sep.
Clarkey (IRE) 9-2 (10-11) Always close up, challenged in 2nd 2 out, led last, stayed on well run-in, won at Listowel 2m 1f hcp chs 0-123 gd in Sep beating Idarah (11-7) by 2l, 16 ran.
Ard Agus Fada (IRE) 12-1 (9-9) Held up, progress into 2nd and ridden after 4 out, disputed lead entering straight, led 2 out, pressed from last, kept on well run-in, won at Gowran Park 2m 4f hcp chs 0-116 hvy in Jan beating Borolee (10-3) by nk, 8 ran.
Silence Speaks (IRE) 11-1 (10-6) Mid-division, good headway into 4th before 3 out, improved to join issue travelling well 2 out, soon led, headed under pressure after last, no extra, 2nd of 16, 1 1/2l behind Gaelic Grounds (11-1) at Clonmel 2m 4f hcp chs 0-109 gd in Sep.