settled behind leaders, 4th halfway, closer in 3rd before 3 out, challenge 3 out, led entering straight, pressed 2 out and soon ridden, headed before last, soon no chance with winner, kept on same pace, swished tail run-in
led, clear from 2nd, mistake and reduced advantage 4th, clear again next, reduced advantage 4 out, strongly pressed before 3 out, ridden and headed entering straight, no extra in 5th 2 out, kept on one pace
The last seven favourites have won this, four of them odds-on, and MISSY TATA should join that roll of honour. Placed in testing ground at Auteuil, she made a spectacular start for Gordon Elliott at Down Royal, slamming the in-form Lake Champlain by 19l with Tiliver another 15l back in third. Elliott also runs the newcomer Rocket Punch, a dual winner over a mile for Andrew Balding during the summer. Rashaan has a double penalty for impressive victories at Roscommon and Listowel and he looks a very nice prospect as does Le Vagabond, a dual Flat winner in France and the very easy winner of a Thurles maiden for Edward O'Grady. There are plenty of nice types amongst the remainder but the principals will be difficult to beat.
Rashaan (IRE) 5-4fav (11-4) Settled 3rd, closer in 3rd 4 out, improved to 2nd 3 out, almost on terms 2 out, soon led travelling well, kept on well, easily, won at Listowel 2m Grp 3 sft in Sep beating Crocosmia (10-5) by 7l, 7 ran.
Le Vagabond (FR) 8-13fav (10-12) Chased leaders, 3rd halfway, improved to lead 2 out, asserted before last, easily, won at Thurles 2m mdn gf in Oct beating Buyer Beware (10-12) by 6 1/2l, 5 ran.
Newberry New (IRE) 5-2fav (11-0) Tracked leaders, slight mistake 2nd, chased winner straight, challenged at last, every chance run-in, kept on well without quite matching winner, 2nd of 9, 1/2l behind Thywillbedone (10-7) at Punchestown 2m sft in Nov.
Rocket Punch (IRE) 20-1 (9-4) Mid-division, ridden and headway over 2f out, stayed on into 4th inside final furlong, not reach leaders, 4th of 20, 2 3/4l behind Empress Ali (9-7) at York 1m 2f hcp (4) gs in Oct.
Sports Barrow (IRE) 7-2fav (11-7) Tracked leaders, not fluent 6th, under pressure from 3 out, no impression from before straight, soon no extra and eased, 6th of 9, dist behind Thywillbedone (10-7) at Punchestown 2m sft in Nov.
Tiliver (FR) 13-8fav (11-4) Chased leaders in 3rd, impeded 5th where left 2nd, pushed along briefly on inner approaching 3 out, soon under pressure and switched left, no impression 2 out and slightly impeded, no extra, 3rd of 6, 34l behind Missy Tata (10-5) at Down Royal 2m Yielding in Oct.
Missy Tata (FR) Evensfav (10-5) Chased leaders in 4th, left 3rd from 5th, closed up on outer approaching 3 out, soon challenged travelling smoothly and led, asserted from 2 out and inclined to swish tail, stayed on well run-in, easily, won at Down Royal 2m Yielding in Oct beating Lake Champlain (11-8) by 19l, 6 ran.
Thywillbedone (IRE) 14-1 (10-7) Led, pushed along and attempted to assert from before straight, reduced lead and pressed when slightly slow last, strongly pressed and stayed on best run-in, won at Punchestown 2m sft in Nov beating Newberry New (11-0) by 1/2l, 9 ran.