Outlaw Pete won this last year, halting a run of victories by Freneys Well who had landed the previous three. The former, along with Uncle Junior, fell in the La Touche Cup over this banks course on Thursday when Star Neuville pulled up and all three get a quick opportunity to make amends. Sizing Australia was behind Outlaw Pete in the Cross Country handicap at Cheltenham but is much better off at the weights, though it's runner-up SHAKERVILZ who looks the one to be on after he produced his best effort to date in that event. Zest For Life was the easy winner of the opening race of this year's Festival on Tuesday but the opposition here is much tougher.
Outlaw Pete (IRE) 9-2fav (11-10) Mid-division, headway from 22nd, close 3rd when fell 7 out, in a race won by Big Shu (12-3) at Punchestown 4m 1f crs cntry chs (5yo+) hvy, 17 ran.
Uncle Junior (IRE) 7-1 (12-3) Mid-division when fell 6th (Ruby's Double), in a race won by Big Shu (12-3) at Punchestown 4m 1f crs cntry chs (5yo+) hvy, 17 ran.
Freneys Well 33-1 (10-1) In touch, dropped to mid-division 6th, mistake 17th, headway after 22nd, lost place when not fluent 4 out, soon behind, 12th of 16, 48l behind Big Shu (10-5) at Cheltenham 3m 7f hcp chs (2) gs in Mar.
Shakervilz (FR) 20-1 (10-0) Held up in rear, mistake 2nd, went left and jumped slowly next, headway after 27th, went 2nd before last, stayed on, unable to trouble winner, 2nd of 16, 4l behind Big Shu (10-5) at Cheltenham 3m 7f hcp chs (2) gs in Mar.
Sizing Australia (IRE) 16-1 (10-11) Held up, mistake 7th, headway 25th, outpaced 3 out, rallied approaching last, looked like pressing for 3rd soon after until no extra final 100 yards, 5th of 16, 19l behind Big Shu (10-5) at Cheltenham 3m 7f hcp chs (2) gs in Mar.
The Corby Glenn (IRE) 6-1 (11-8) Settled in rear, headway into close 4th 4 out, ridden and no extra after next, 4th of 8, 31l behind Kingsmoss (11-12) at Downpatrick 2m 7f hcp chs 0-102 gd in Jun.
Zest For Life (IRE) 4-1 (11-5) Always prominent, led 16th, went clear with rival 4 out, headed briefly before 2 out, soon led and went clear travelling well before last, stayed on well from last, comfortably, won at Punchestown 3m crs cty chs sft beating Lord Hawkfield (11-4) by 8l, 14 ran.
Dosco's Dream (IRE) 50-1 (11-12) Tracked leaders, ridden in 3rd 3 out, weakened before next, 5th of 14, 29l behind Mart Lane (11-12) at Fairyhouse 2m 5f beg chase sft.
Duers (IRE) 20-1 (11-4) Soon well off pace towards rear, poor 5th and kept on same pace from 3 out, 5th of 10, 39l behind Mossey Joe (11-7) at Cork 2m 4f hts chs.
Glaczer Flyer (IRE) 10-1 (11-4) Alw rr, ko bhnd, 6th of 9, well behind Most Chaste (11-9) at Ballydarragh 3m ire ptp gs in Feb.
Ma Chara (IRE) 25-1 (11-0) Led and disputed, headed 16th, 3rd 6 out, ridden in 3rd from 3 out, kept on one paced, 3rd of 14, 24l behind Zest For Life (11-5) at Punchestown 3m crs cty chs sft.
O'Muircheartaigh (IRE) 66-1 (11-0) Always in rear, trailing from 19th, pulled up after 25th, in a race won by Big Shu (12-3) at Punchestown 4m 1f crs cntry chs (5yo+) hvy, 17 ran.
Star Neuville (FR) 8-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders, close up until 27th, weakened from 7 out, no extra when slightly hampered and pulled up after next, in a race won by Big Shu (12-3) at Punchestown 4m 1f crs cntry chs (5yo+) hvy, 17 ran.
Wiseoverbury (IRE) 12-1 (11-4) (poor visibility in back straight) prominent and disputed lead, ridden after 3 out and no extra in 3rd next, dropped to 4th last, kept on one pace, 4th of 15, 17l behind Final Gift (11-4) at Tramore 2m 6f hts chs.
Love Rory (IRE) 12-1 (11-4) Chased leaders, 5th before 4 out, soon no impression and kept on same pace, 4th of 13, 22l behind A Fine Young Man (11-9) at Cork 2m beg chs in Mar.