held up in rear, not fluent 12th, mistake and rider lost iron briefly 14th, headway approaching 3 out, ridden and beaten before home turn, 5th and well held when blundered and unseated rider 2 out
not always fluent, held up towards rear, closed 12th, slow next (water), effort before 3 out, 3rd and outpaced home turn, pecked 2 out, 10 lengths off front pair last, stayed on well final 150 yards, led towards finish
Champ is one of the class acts in this but his jumping remains a concern. He fell in a Grade 2 here in January but was clear and going well at the time. He’d also made mistakes in his first two runs over fences at Newbury and the obstacles on this track are unforgiving. This can be a stiff test for a six-year-old but Copperhead has displayed staying power and battling qualities and is still on an upward curve. MINELLA INDO deserves the utmost respect as he won the Albert Bartlett here last year. He had a morale-boosting victory at Navan in January having found Laurina too quick over an inadequate trip on his chasing bow and is another who is still improving. Battleoverdoyen was joint favourite for the Flogas at Leopardstown last month but was beaten when falling with the Mullins pair Easy Game and Castlebawn West finishing second and fourth respectively. Ireland’s champion trainer also runs Allaho and he looks a threat to all having finished third in last year’s Albert Bartlett. He had little more than an exercise canter at Fairyhouse and improvement is expected as he tackles 3m over fences for the first time.
Allaho (FR) 2-5fav (11-12) Made all, jumped slightly left 1st, went on after 4th, reduced lead 4 out, went on again 2 out travelling smoothly, stayed on well from before last, easily, won at Fairyhouse 2m 5f Yielding - Soft in Jan beating Milan Native (11-12) by 21l, 9 ran.
Aye Right (IRE) 4-6fav (11-0) Tracked leader, led after 9th, pushed clear 3 out, ran on, comfortable (only 18 fences jumped, first fence away from stands omitted ), won at Newcastle 2m 7f (4) sft in Jan beating Mulcahys Hill (11-6) by 15l, 2 ran.
Battleoverdoyen (IRE) 13-8jfav (11-10) Led, slight mistake 7th, joined before 2 out, ridden from 2 out, soon weakened, dropped to moderate 4th when fell at last, at Leopardstown 2m 5f (1) Yielding in Feb.
Castlebawn West (IRE) 14-1 (11-10) Tracked leaders disputing 3rd, close 3rd 2 out, ridden entering straight, moderate 5th before last, left 4th at last, no impression, 4th of 7, 11 1/4l behind Faugheen (11-10) at Leopardstown 2m 5f (1) Yielding in Feb.
Champ (IRE) 4-9fav (11-5) Chased leader, not fluent 6th, challenged 7th, led next, jumped left 4 out and 3 out, 4 lengths up when fell 2 out, at Cheltenham 2m 5f (1) sft in Jan.
Copperhead 6-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders on outside, went 2nd approaching 13th, led going well before 2 out, soon clear, hit last and pecked, stayed on strongly, easily, won at Ascot 3m (1) sft in Feb beating Two For Gold (11-5) by 17l, 6 ran.
Easy Game (FR) 5-1 (11-10) Held up disputing 5th, close 5th 2 out, headway into 2nd and ridden before last, close 2nd approaching last, strongly pressed winner run-in, kept on well close home, 2nd of 7, 1/2l behind Faugheen (11-10) at Leopardstown 2m 5f (1) Yielding in Feb.
Minella Indo (IRE) 2-5fav (11-12) Soon prominent, led 1st, kept wide, slight mistake 11th, pressed 3 out, ridden and joined before last, narrow lead last, kept on best run-in, won at Navan 3m Soft - Heavy in Jan beating Captain Cj (11-12) by 1 1/2l, 12 ran.
Pym (IRE) 11-4 (11-3) Slight lead, not fluent 3rd, hit next, mistake 6th, headed 10th, lost place before 13th, last at 15th, pulled up before 4 out, at Ascot 3m (1) sft in Feb.
Slate House (IRE) 4-1 (11-3) Held up, last 7th, mistake 12th, ridden after 4 out, went 4th after 3 out, weakened before 2 out, pulled up before last, at Cheltenham 3m 1f (1) sft in Jan.