ROI DU MEE won this a year ago then landed three Grade races including the jnwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal where he had Sizing Europe well beaten. That sort of form gives him the edge and his latest run in the Betfair should be forgiven. Marito is likely to provide a stiff test as Willie Mullins' charge made a bright start over fences last year and would have taken a hand in the finish of the Jewson at Cheltenham but for falling two out. The champion trainer also runs Bishopsfurze, who has won eight of his 16 career races but hasn't been seen since unseating Ruby Walsh at Gowran a year ago. Buckers Bridge has Oscars Well 3l behind off levels at Gowran in November so the latter has a chance with a 3lb pull.
Buckers Bridge (IRE) 11-4 (11-10) Soon raced in 3rd, challenged in 2nd 2 out, led last, stayed on well run-in, won at Gowran Park 2m 4f chs in Nov beating Oscars Well (11-10) by 3l, 4 ran.
Roi Du Mee (FR) 25-1 (11-7) Led until 5th, ridden and weakened 6 out, behind when pulled up 4 out, in a race won by Cue Card (11-7) at Haydock 3m 1f chs G1 (1) sft in Nov, 8 ran.
He'llberemembered (IRE) 18-1 (11-1) Soon chased leaders, improved after 4 out, ridden along into straight, 3rd before last, stayed on well run-in without reaching winner, 2nd of 16, 1/2l behind Jennies Jewel (10-11) at Navan 2m 4f hcp hdl in Dec.
Marito (GER) 14-1 (11-10) Tracked leader in 3rd, ridden approaching last where slight mistake, kept on under pressure run-in to go 2nd final 50 yards, 2nd of 5, 1 1/4l behind Hurricane Fly (11-10) at Punchestown 2m hdl G1 (1) in Nov.
Oscars Well (IRE) 9-10fav (11-10) Soon raced in 2nd, led before 6th, pressed straight, rider briefly without left iron after 3 out, headed last, no impression and kept on same pace run-in, 2nd of 4, 3l behind Buckers Bridge (11-10) at Gowran Park 2m 4f chs in Nov.
Torphichen 2-1fav (10-13) won at Listowel 2m 4f hcp chs sft in Sep '12 beating Mossey Joe (11-3) by 26l, 7 ran.
Bishopsfurze (IRE) 8-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders, mistake and unseated rider 8th, in a race won by Jadanli (10-7) at Gowran Park 3m 1f hcp chs hvy in Jan '13, 18 ran.
Out Now (IRE) 16-1 (11-5) Towards rear, no impression before 4 out, pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Daring Article (10-3) at Punchestown 2m 6f hcp chs in Dec, 16 ran.