RETOUR EN FRANCE has now finished runner-up in four of six starts over fences, including both outings for Willie Mullins. She’s been given a break since beaten a head at Sligo in September and may finally come good in this. Girly Girl and Misty Lady are rated higher than most of these over hurdles but neither has threatened over fences so far, though the former finished closer over a shorter trip here last time. Monbeg Rose is another struggling to make a mark over fences after five attempts without looking like winning while Goulane Davina was a well-beaten third at Naas on her chasing bow.
Girly Girl (IRE) 8-1 (11-3) Tracked leaders, 4th from 3rd, 3rd approaching straight, no impression and one pace from 2 out, 3rd of 10, 18 1/4l behind Laid Back Luke (11-3) at Fairyhouse 2m 4f sft in Jan.
Goulane Davina (IRE) 13-2 (11-7) Chased leaders, 5th before straight, mistake 2 out, 3rd when mistake last, no extra and one pace after, 3rd of 8, 13 3/4l behind Slowmotion (11-1) at Naas 2m sft in Jan.
Leaders Questions (IRE) 13-2 (10-3) Mid-division on inner, 9th 3 out, ridden and no impression from next, 5th of 13, 10 1/2l behind Definite Ruby (11-10) at Punchestown 2m 4f hcp sft in Jan.
Micras 25-1 (11-2) Disputed lead, led 5th, ridden after 3 out, headed before 2 out, 3rd and mistake 2 out, weakened, 6th of 15, 25 3/4l behind Ardera Cross (11-9) at Tramore 2m hcp hvy in Dec.
Misty Lady (IRE) 12-1 (11-0) Chased leaders, mistake and unseated rider 2nd, at Thurles 2m 4f (1) Yielding - Soft in Jan.
Monbeg Rose (IRE) 20-1 (11-0) Held up, 5th halfway, closer in 4th 6 out, dropped towards rear 4 out, ridden and no impression next, weakened and pulled up before last, at Thurles 2m 4f (1) Yielding - Soft in Jan.
Rancher Lass (IRE) 100-1 (11-7) Towards rear, mistake 1st, moderate 11th from 3rd, not fluent 4th, closer order 3 out, slight mistake 2 out, pushed along approaching straight and no impression, 10th of 12, 23 1/4l behind Toe The Line (11-7) at Leopardstown 2m mdn gd in Jan.
Retour En France (IRE) 1-3fav (11-7) Led, big jump 2 out, pushed along approaching last, ridden and joined at last, headed narrowly inside final furlong, rallied and stayed on well close home, 2nd of 4, hd behind Presenting Mahler (11-7) at Sligo 2m 1f hvy in Sep.
Routes Choice (IRE) 16-1 (11-5) Rear of mid-division, ridden 8th, no impression from 4 out, never a factor, 12th of 13, dist behind Definite Ruby (11-10) at Punchestown 2m 4f hcp sft in Jan.
Twiss's Hill (IRE) 66-1 (11-5) Always behind, no impression from 4 out, never a factor, 6th of 9, dist behind Acapella Bourgeois (11-12) at Navan 2m 4f sft in Jan.
Too Many Notes (IRE) 100-1 (11-5) Always behind, slight mistake 4th, no impression from 4 out, never a factor, 12th of 14, dist behind Edwulf (11-12) at Punchestown 2m 4f Soft - Heavy in Jan.