led, strongly pressed entering straight, headed after 2 out and soon no impression on winner, no extra run-in and eased close home when beaten
tracked leader in 2nd, headway to challenge entering straight, ridden and no impression in 3rd approaching last, 2nd on run-in and kept on same pace under pressure without threatening winner
tracked leaders in 3rd, pushed along to challenge entering straight, no impression in 4th after 2 out, kept on one pace under pressure without troubling winner
held up in touch, headway on outer to challenge 2 out, soon led and asserted before last, kept on well run-in
A very disappointing turnout numerically especially as Mikael D'Haguenet was engaged to run here yesterday. VOLER LA VEDETTE finished third behind Hurricane Fly and Solwhit in this a year ago with Mourad just behind. She has proved herself at every level winning eleven races to date and made a very nice comeback in a Grade 2 at Navan. Mourad undoubtedly improved as the season progressed though his best form has come over slightly further and Colm Murphy's mare could just do him for pace. The Real Article has won a pair of Grade 2's over the minimum trip recently and though meeting much better opposition it's possible he could be even better over today's extra half-mile. County Hurdle winner Final Approach is sure to win good races this season but this looks just too tough.
Final Approach (10-3) 5th of 10, 10l behind Thousand Stars (10-7) at Auteuil(FR) 3m 1f hdl G1 (1) sft in Jun.
Mourad (IRE) (10-7) 4th of 10, 8l behind Thousand Stars (10-7) at Auteuil(FR) 3m 1f hdl G1 (1) sft in Jun.
The Real Article (IRE) 5-4fav (11-8) Tracked leaders in 3rd, slight mistake 4 out, pushed along in close 4th 2 out, ridden to challenge between horses last, kept on well under pressure to lead closing stages, won at Down Royal 2m hdl G2 (1) sft in Nov beating Kalann (10-13) by 1 1/4l, 5 ran.
Voler La Vedette (IRE) 2-1 (11-3) Held up in rear, headway into close 3rd entering straight, challenged after 3 out, led approaching 2 out, asserted before last, pushed out run-in, comfortably, won at Navan 2m 4f hdl G2 (1) in Nov beating Fully Funded (11-7) by 3 1/2l, 8 ran.
Mikael D'haguenet (FR) 7-4fav (11-5) Settled behind leaders, 5th halfway, headway in close 4th 3 out, soon challenged, ridden and disputed approaching 2 out where slight mistake, no extra in 2nd before last, kept on same pace, lost 2nd run-in, 3rd of 8, 7l behind Voler La Vedette (11-3) at Navan 2m 4f hdl G2 (1) in Nov.