War Correspondent had looked a bright prospect in his early races which is why he was an odds-on chance for a maiden here last month but he fluffed his lines and finished tailed off. That wasn't his true running and he can do better but he'll need to in an open handicap. Alasty has been staying on strongly over shorter trips but the handicapper hasn't done him any favours. He finished runner-up to today's rival Happy New Year at Punchestown in December but that winner, who was completing a hat-trick, has been hit hard by the assessor. ZEKARYA won a beginners' chase in a canter at Limerick and has to be the selection as he was conceding 7lb to the 108-rated American Flyer over hurdles at Tipperary in October and was beaten less then 2l. There should be more to come and he's handed the vote. Missie Ella and Thats The Dream are at the right end of the handicap and can make their presence felt.
Leggy Lad (IRE) 6-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders in 5th, headway 3 out and challenged next, ridden entering straight and 2 lengths down when fell last, in a race won by Rockyaboya (11-3) at Punchestown 2m 4f hcp hdl 80-116 hvy in Jan, 9 ran.
Alasty (IRE) 10-3fav (11-5) Tracked leaders on inner in 4th, slow and lost place 5 out, headway 2 out and ridden to go 3rd early straight, not fluent last where left 2nd, soon dropped to 3rd and kept on one pace, 3rd of 9, 1 3/4l behind Rockyaboya (11-3) at Punchestown 2m 4f hcp hdl 80-116 hvy in Jan.
A Decent Excuse (IRE) 9-4fav (11-2) Prominent, led 6th, headed 4 out, weakened quickly from next, pulled up from before straight, in a race won by Drawn N Drank (10-13) at Limerick 3m hcp hdl 80-116 hvy in Dec, 7 ran.
War Correspondent (IRE) 4-7fav (11-4) Led early and remained prominent, slight mistake 5th, ridden along and dropped to 7th after 4 out, no extra, 7th of 10, well behind Rocknrollrambo (10-13) at Thurles 2m 6f mdn hdl in Jan.
Katys Girl (IRE) 12-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders in 3rd, ridden and dropped to 5th early straight, no impression before last where left 4th, 4th of 9, 5l behind Rockyaboya (11-3) at Punchestown 2m 4f hcp hdl 80-116 hvy in Jan.
Zekarya (FR) 6-1 (11-12) Close up and disputed lead, hit 5 out, soon moderate 2nd, closed into straight going best, jumped last 2 well and clear from before last, stayed on well, easily, won at Limerick 2m 3f beg chase hvy in Jan beating Killcara Boy (11-12) by 17l, 13 ran.
Happy New Year (IRE) 14-1 (10-0) Led and disputed, ridden 3 out, close up entering straight, no extra before last, 9th of 26, 21l behind Shariyan (11-1) at Leopardstown 2m 4f hcp hdl 8Evens23 in Jan.
Bonifacio (IRE) 14-1 (11-7) Waited with towards rear, 9th approaching 5 out, no impression and kept on same pace from before straight, 7th of 12, 16l behind Dazzlers Day (10-9) at Limerick 2m 5f hcp hdl 80-102 hvy in Dec.
Dante Anna (IRE) 100-1 (10-10) Tracked leader, 2nd halfway, ridden and dropped to 4th before 3 out, no chance with first 2 and kept on one pace under pressure in straight, last of 4, 40l behind Bog Warrior (11-6) at Gowran Park 3m hdl G2 (1) hvy in Jan.
Ocean Bright (USA) 16-1 (11-8) Soon chased leaders, 7th before halfway, no impression and kept on same pace from after 4 out, 9th of 15, 48l behind Backinthere (11-7) at Cork 2m 4f mares hcp hdl 9-109 in Jan.
Luck Pennie (IRE) 50-1 (10-1) Chased leaders, 6th halfway, close up in 5th 2 out, ridden and no extra entering straight, 12th of 26, 23l behind Shariyan (11-1) at Leopardstown 2m 4f hcp hdl 8Evens23 in Jan.
The Blarney Rose (IRE) 7-2fav (10-13) Soon tracked leaders, 3rd before straight, no extra 2 out and kept on same pace, 7th of 15, 17l behind Backinthere (11-7) at Cork 2m 4f mares hcp hdl 9-109 in Jan.
Missie Ella (IRE) 7-1 (10-4) Led and disputed, ridden from 3 out, headed 2 out, soon no extra in 3rd, kept on same pace, 3rd of 9, 10l behind Dactik (11-1) at Fairyhouse 2m 4f nov hcp hdl 80-116 hvy.
Thats The Dream (IRE) 5-2 (10-8) Tracked leaders, 5th halfway, headway to lead after 3 out, ridden next and headed approaching last, no extra and lost 2 places run-in, 4th of 11, 6l behind Missie Ella (10-1) at Thurles 2m 6f nov hcp hdl 80-109 hvy in Dec.
Cross To Boston (IRE) 14-1 (9-10) Led, not fluent 4th and a bit slow next, headed 6th, soon no extra and pulled up before 5 out, in a race won by Drawn N Drank (10-13) at Limerick 3m hcp hdl 80-116 hvy in Dec, 7 ran.