Noel Meade complicates matters by saddling Westhaven and THOUVA and though Paul Carberry is on board the former it's Davy Russell's mount, who was fancied to make a winning start over fences here in October but was impeded at a crucial stage, who looks the one to be on. Winning point-to-pointer Western Man makes his debut over regulation fences but his hurdling form was moderate so it's King Of The Refs who looks more of a threat as he ran some fair races in decent company over hurdles and will be better for the experience of his two chase runs to date.
King Of The Refs (IRE) 10-3 (11-4) Prominent in chasing group, closer in 2nd 4 out, challenged under pressure and briefly on terms before last, soon no chance with easy winner, kept on same pace, 2nd of 9, 4l behind Twigline (11-5) at Fairyhouse 2m 4f mdn hdl sft in Nov.
Lord Rudi (IRE) 28-1 (10-13) Led and clear early, headed 6th until regained lead 5 out, headed approaching 3 out and soon no extra, no threat in straight, 7th of 9, 36l behind Galant Ferns (11-12) at Fairyhouse 2m 6f hcp hdl 8Evens16 sft in Jan.
Thouva (FR) 11-10fav (11-11) Led and disuputed lead, hampered by loose horse 6th, headed 4 out and dropped to 5th, went 3rd entering straight but no impression from before last where not fluent, kept on one pace, 3rd of 14, 6l behind Klepht (11-12) at Wexford 2m 3f beg chs gd in Oct.
Western Man (IRE) 7-1 (11-11) Mid-division, 7th halfway, headway into 4th approaching straight, no impression from 2 out, kept on one pace, 4th of 14, 10l behind Happy New Year (11-6) at Limerick 2m 5f am hcp hdle 80-95 hvy in Nov.
Clonbeale Vacation (IRE) 20-1 (10-12) Prominent and led before 2nd, headed 5th, tracked leaders until dropped to 6th 4 out, left 5th next but no impression entering straight, kept on one pace, 5th of 12, 30l behind Make A Track (11-12) at Thurles 2m 6f beg chs hvy in Nov.
Dante Anna (IRE) 25-1 (10-6) Chased leaders, 7th halfway, lost place 4 out, soon no impression, kept on one pace from before straight, 8th of 17, 23l behind Carries Darling (11-7) at Clonmel 2m 4f mdn hdl in Nov.
Westhaven (IRE) 4-1 (10-13) Soon mid-division, 7th 5 out, no impression next, moderate 6th into straight, kept on same pace, 7th of 13, well behind Snooze (11-9) at Cork 2m 5f beg chs sft in Nov.