A small but select field for a race that is generally won by a classy performer. Clan Tara once looked a class-act but has been confined to hurdling after his two falls in quick succession over fences. He was fancied to beat Psycho over 2m2f when coming to grief here in January and the latter blotted his copybook when falling over hurdles at Ballinrobe in August. He's much better over fences but will need to be at his best against these rivals. Joncol and COOLDINE battled out the finish of the Hennessy at Leopardstown in February of last year but the winner has a penalty and has only run three times since. Cooldine has also had little racing subsequently but has mainly done better and a 10lb pull should be enough to reverse the places and take this. Roberto Goldback had quite a hard campaign last season but almost ended on a high when falling at the last in the Punchestown Guinness Gold Cup in May while in the lead. He's an obvious threat on his first start for Dessie Hughes though the concession of 10lb to the selection looks beyond him.
Joncol (IRE) 13-8fav (11-10) Tracked leaders, 4th halfway, ridden before 2 out, improved into 2nd early straight, 3rd after last, one pace run-in, 3rd of 9, 9l behind Kempes (11-10) at Leopardstown 3m chs G1 (1) hvy in Feb.
Psycho (IRE) 7-4 (11-0) Tracked leaders in 3rd, moderate 3rd halfway, went 2nd 2 out, soon ridden and found little, dropped to 3rd and no extra when fell at last, in a race won by Muirhead (11-0) at Ballinrobe 2m 4f hdl gf in Aug, 4 ran.
Roberto Goldback (IRE) 20-1 (11-10) Tracked leaders in 6th, went 3rd after 5 out, headway to lead entering straight, driven along from 2 out, under pressure but still 1 length advantage when mistake and unseated rider last, in a race won by Follow The Plan (11-10) at Punchestown 3m 1f chs G1 (1) gd in May, 8 ran.
Clan Tara (IRE) 12-1 (11-12) Chased leaders, no extra approaching 2 out, pulled up before last, in a race won by Viaduct Joey (10-12) at Galway 2m 6f hcp hdl 8Evens23 hvy in Oct, 20 ran.
Cooldine (IRE) 7-2fav (11-10) Prominent, 2nd halfway, blundered 6 out, 4th 4 out, ridden and no extra in 7th entering straight, eased and pulled up before last, in a race won by Pandorama (11-10) at Leopardstown 3m chs G1 (1) in Dec, 12 ran.