STEPS TO FREEDOM has run four times over fences and been runner-up in them all when a short-priced favourite. He's clearly not as good as over hurdles or on the Flat but this looks a good opportunity to put matters right. Ring Ben showed little over hurdles but looks better over fences and a small race should come his way soon. Winning hurdler Top Cat Henry has been making mistakes over fences and was tailed off at Roscommon last time so the main threat looks like being Alelchi Inois. Willie Mullins' French recruit won a couple of minor races over hurdles before stepping up into higher grade. His latest run when not beaten far in a Grade 3 at Cork suggests stamina will be his strongpoint and he's likely to make a fair chaser. Sir Loujay did well enough in moderate company over hurdles and has always looked more likely to do better over fences.
Akinspirit (IRE) 33-1 (11-9) Took keen hold, towards rear, headway from after 4 out, soon moderate 8th, moderate 6th and no danger from 2 out, 6th of 11, 33l behind The Crafty Butcher (11-12) at Killarney 2m 1f beg chs.
Alelchi Inois (FR) 4-1 (11-3) Soon tracked leaders, slight mistake 6th, no impression 3 out, moderate 4th before last where not fluent, kept on same pace, 4th of 8, 8l behind The Job Is Right (11-0) at Cork 3m nov hdl Grd 3 (1) sft in Dec.
Revolutionary Road 12-1 (11-6) Soon tracked leaders, 6th after 4 out, 5th before 2 out, soon no impression, kept on same pace, 5th of 16, 7l behind Four Wives (10-4) at Cork 2m 3f hcp hdl 80-102 gd in Oct.
Ring Ben (IRE) 10-1 (11-12) Prominent, hit 4th, left disputing lead 3 out, soon headed, no impression in 3rd and kept on same pace from before last, 3rd of 11, 8l behind The Crafty Butcher (11-12) at Killarney 2m 1f beg chs.
Sir Loujay (IRE) 4-1fav (11-7) Waited with soon in mid-division, progress from before 6 out, 8th after 4 out, no impression and kept on same pace straight, 6th of 16, 15l behind Four Wives (10-4) at Cork 2m 3f hcp hdl 80-102 gd in Oct.
Steps To Freedom (IRE) 4-7fav (11-12) Led, clear at stages, slight mistake 3rd, reduced lead from before 3 out, went on again before straight, slightly slow at last and soon pressed, headed run-in, kept on same pace,, 2nd of 7, 1/2l behind Howwoulduno (11-12) at Punchestown 2m beg chs gd.
Tisamystery (IRE) 10-1 (11-8) Tracked leader in 2nd, ridden early straight and dropped to 6th at last, no impression run-in, 6th of 15, 5l behind Top Spin (10-12) at Fairyhouse 2m hcp hdl 80-116 gf in Oct.
Top Cat Henry (IRE) 12-1 (11-12) Tracked leaders on outer when hampered at 1st, soon mid-division, dropped to rear 6 out, soon no impression, never a factor, 9th of 12, well behind Sadler's Risk (11-12) at Roscommon 2m 5f beg chs sft.
Tynaghs Trooper (IRE) 33-1 (11-12) Soon in rear, slight mistake 3rd, no danger from 5 out, soon no extra, completely tailed off,, last of 7, well behind Howwoulduno (11-12) at Punchestown 2m beg chs gd.