USUEL SMURFER did well enough over hurdles and made a very encouraging debut over fences in what was a better race than this at Listowel. With that under his belt he can see off Sir Vincent, who was just starting to struggle when falling in the race won by Minella For Value at Listowel. Hunting Party should make a smart staying chaser judged on his battling victories over hurdles and it would be no surprise to see him in the shake-up on his chasing debut. Thomond won a maiden hurdle here last month but was well beaten on his chasing bow at Killarney.
Hunting Party (IRE) 12-1 (11-7) Chased leader, 2nd halfway, improved to lead approaching 2 out, ridden after 2 out, kept on under pressure from before straight, challenged last, disputed closing stages, just prevailed at line, won at Ballinrobe 2m 4f hdl sft in May beating Perfect Gentleman (11-10) by hd, 7 ran.
Laughing Boy (IRE) 11-1 (11-0) Always rear, trailing before halfway and pulled up after 4th, in a race won by Ancient Sands (11-10) at Ballinrobe 2m hcp hdl 80-109 gd, 16 ran.
Michael Valentine (IRE) 33-1 (10-12) Slow 1st and chased leaders in 6th well off strong pace, dropped to rear before 4 out and well behind when pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Minella For Value (11-5) at Ballinrobe 2m 6f chs gd, 10 ran.
On The Loose (IRE) 16-1 (9-13) Soon mid-division, 11th approaching 3 out, soon no impression, kept on same pace, 8th of 15, 23l behind Ancient Sands (11-10) at Down Royal 2m hcp hdl 80-102 gf in Aug.
Shahrafi (IRE) 50-1 (11-12) Waited with towards rear, closer order 4 out, soon tracked leaders, 3rd before straight, soon no impression under pressure, 5th of 9, 14l behind Rockshandy (11-5) at Galway 2m 6f beg chs gd.
Sir Vincent (IRE) 6-1 (11-12) Led, jumped right and headed 1st, tended to jump to right throughout, still prominent when fell 4 out, in a race won by Minella For Value (11-12) at Listowel 2m 4f beg chs, 16 ran.
Of The Hook (IRE) 50-1 (11-3) Always towards rear, never a factor, no threat from 3 out, kept on one pace, 8th of 12, 46l behind Nearest The Pin (11-12) at Ballinrobe 2m 1f beg chs gd.
Thomond (IRE) 13-2 (11-8) Mid-division, headway into 5th 4 out, ridden and no extra entering straight, hampered 3 out and weakened, 8th of 15, well behind Shanpallas (11-8) at Killarney 2m 4f beg chs gd in Aug.
Usuel Smurfer (FR) 6-1 (11-9) Chased leaders, slight mistake 4th and mistake 7th, 6th halfway, ridden in 4th entering straight, no impression 2 out, stayed on to 3rd last, kept on same pace, 3rd of 11, 5l behind Owega Star (11-12) at Listowel 2m 6f beg chs sft.