made all, not fluent 1st, travelling well when jumped slightly left 2 out, pushed out briefly after last, stayed on well, comfortably
always towards rear, bad mistake 1st, no impression from 4 out, never a factor
always towards rear, slight mistake 8th, no impression from 4 out, never a factor
tracked leaders in 4th, ridden in moderate 4th 4 out, soon no impression
tracked leaders in 3rd, jumped left at 5th, ridden in 3rd before 3 out, kept on one paced in 3rd from next
tracked leader in 2nd throughout, ridden 2 out, no impression on winner from last, kept on same pace
held up in rear, some modest progress into remote 5th 4 out, soon ridden, went moderate 4th next, no extra
Noel Meade and Paul Carberry have won this three times in recent years and the Castletown handler unleashes yet another potentially very useful young chaser after Very Wood's victory at Galway. APACHE STRONGHOLD, placed in the Grade 1 Champion Bumper at Punchestown last year, made a superb start over timber winning a Grade 2 at Navan in November. He couldn't handle the brilliant Vautour in the Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown in May but had a couple of very smart rivals behind and his debut over the bigger obstacles is much anticipated. Plan A is a very experienced performer and it's a surprise he hasn't won over fences but he'll ensure the selection doesn't have everything his own way. Thunder And Roses is another chasing newcomer to keep an eye on as he was only 4l behind Apache Stronghold over hurdles a year ago and continued to run well subsequently. Shershewill is only moderate over timber but did better on her chasing bow at Downpatrick and that experience can ensure she goes well here.
Apache Stronghold (IRE) 14-1 (11-10) Ran 4th, progress into 2nd before 2 out, ridden and no impression on winner approaching last, kept on one pace run-in, 2nd of 4, 3 1/2l behind Vautour (11-10) at Punchestown 2m 4f nov hdl Grade 1 (1) in May.
Ardmillan (IRE) 33-1 (10-12) Tracked leaders, led 11th, headed next, mistake 3 out, soon weakened, tailed off, 8th of 9, well behind Man With Van (11-5) at Hexham 2m 4f nov chs (4) gs in Jun.
Donatis Comet (IRE) 7-2 (11-7) Held up towards rear, slightly slow 5th, closer order 8th, soon 4th, pushed along from 5 out, no extra from 2 out, eased run-in, 4th of 5, 47l behind Allied Victory (11-10) at Thurles 2m 6f beg chs gd.
Leighinmohr (IRE) 5-1 (11-8) Settled behind leaders, 4th halfway, ridden and no extra before 2 out, kept on one pace, 4th of 6, 12l behind Terminal (11-8) at Down Royal 2m 6f hdl gd in May '12.
Quickasyoucan (IRE) 5-6fav (10-13) Tracked leading pair, led travelling well approaching last, came clear run-in, comfortably, won at Perth 3m nh nov hdl (4) sft in May beating Good Order (10-13) by 7l, 4 ran.
Thunder And Roses (IRE) 40-1 (11-10) Held up towards rear, ridden into 5th 3 out, no extra 2 out, 7th of 9, 16l behind Beat That (11-10) at Punchestown 3m nov hdl Grade 1 (1) in Apr.
Shershewill (IRE) 7-1 (11-2) Took keen hold towards rear, headway to chase leaders at halfway, ridden to challenge 2 out, went 2nd after last, stayed on well, 2nd of 7, 1 3/4l behind Formal Bid (11-12) at Downpatrick 2m 2f beg chs.
Plan A (IRE) 10-1 (11-7) In rear, off pace and pushed along after 4 out, some modest late progress from 2 out, never nearer, 5th of 10, 23l behind He's Our Man (11-4) at Sligo 2m 1f hcp chs gd.
Vive La France (FR) 7-1 (10-8) Held up towards rear, ridden and no impression before 2 out, 8th of 11, 18l behind Xsquared (10-4) at Bellewstown 2m 1f hcp hdl gd in Jul.