mid-division, progress into 4th after 4 out, ridden in 5th 3 out, under pressure in 4th and mistake 2 out, disputed 2nd and slight mistake last, 2nd and kept on same pace run-in, no impression on winner
Willie Mullins has a tremendous record in this ultra-tough handicap and has won it for the past two years. He has five entries this time, the same as Gordon Elliott, and Paul Townend has chosen Acapella Bourgeois, who was only sixth in the race a year ago but landed a Fairyhouse Grade 3 next time. Brahma Bull hasn't had much experience and makes his handicap debut but looks well treated on his second to Minella Indo in a Navan Grade 2. The champion trainer puts a 5lb claimer on board Cabaret Queen and she would have a fine chance off this mark at her best while ANY SECOND NOW, the 2019 Kim Muir winner, won a Grade 3 on his last start over fences. He's been confined to hurdles for his two runs this winter and should be spot-on for this. Spyglass Hill is another with prospects after a good run behind Annamix here in November.
Acapella Bourgeois (FR) 13-2 (11-10) Chased leader, 2nd halfway, closer at 11th, led next, ridden before 2 out where pressed, headed after 2 out, no extra in 2nd before last, kept on one pace, 2nd of 5, 19l behind Al Boum Photo (12-0) at Tramore 2m 5f (1) sft in Jan.
Tout Est Permis (FR) 66-1 (11-12) Prominent, disputed briefly 3rd and 4th, 2nd halfway, 3rd 6 out, pushed along and lost place 3 out, soon no extra, 9th of 14, dist behind A Plus Tard (11-12) at Leopardstown 3m (1) Yielding in Dec.
Alpha Des Obeaux (FR) 16-1 (11-7) Waited with towards rear, slight mistake 5th, reminder after 8th in last, under pressure 10th, soon no impression, last of 5, dist behind Bachasson (11-7) at Clonmel 2m 4f (1) hvy in Nov.
Any Second Now (IRE) 18-1 (10-10) Mid-division early, 10th at 7th, headway straight, one pace from before 2 out, 9th of 20, 29 1/2l behind Flooring Porter (10-6) at Navan 3m hcp sft in Dec.
Mortal (IRE) 25-1 (10-5) Mid-division, some headway on outer after 3 out and 6th next, soon pushed along and no extra entering straight, weakened and eased, 17th of 20, dist behind Dandy Mag (10-13) at Leopardstown 3m hcp sft in Dec.
Brahma Bull (IRE) 15-2 (11-10) Settled 4th, mistake and unseated rider 2nd, at Tramore 2m 5f (1) sft in Jan.
Cabaret Queen 16-5 (10-13) Led, 6 lengths clear halfway, reduced advantage 4 out, slight mistake next and soon headed, 3rd and no impression between final 2, no extra run-in, 3rd of 5, 28 1/2l behind Agusta Gold (10-13) at Fairyhouse 2m 5f (1) hvy in Jan.
Class Conti (FR) 50-1 (11-9) Mid-division best, towards rear 5 out, soon no extra and weakened, 18th of 22, dist behind Castlebawn West (11-10) at Leopardstown 3m hcp Yielding in Dec.
Spyglass Hill (IRE) 2-1 (11-7) Tracked leader, 1 length behind in 2nd 4 out, pushed along when mistake next, no impression when mistake 2 out, kept on one pace, 2nd of 4, 9l behind Annamix (11-7) at Gowran Park 2m 4f hvy in Nov.
Saturnas (FR) 66-1 (11-7) Always towards rear, no extra before 3 out, weakened, 17th of 22, dist behind Castlebawn West (11-10) at Leopardstown 3m hcp Yielding in Dec.
Discordantly (IRE) 12-1 (11-4) Chased leaders, 4th halfway, ridden and no extra after 2 out, kept on one pace, 9th of 22, 21 1/2l behind Castlebawn West (11-10) at Leopardstown 3m hcp Yielding in Dec.
Roaring Bull (IRE) 22-1 (11-4) Held up, progress 5 out, 6th next, close up 3 out, soon disputed, ridden in 2nd after 2 out, no extra before last, 10th of 22, 24 3/4l behind Castlebawn West (11-10) at Leopardstown 3m hcp Yielding in Dec.
Dunvegan (FR) 12-1 (11-1) Mistake 1st, always towards rear, weakened 4 out, pulled up before next, at Leopardstown 3m hcp Yielding in Dec.
Coko Beach (FR) 13-8fav (12-0) Prominent, 2nd halfway, 3rd and pushed along early straight, left 2nd 2 out, ridden and headway to dispute lead at last, kept on, 3rd and no impression final 50 yards, 3rd of 9, 1 1/4l behind Forza Milan (12-0) at Fairyhouse 2m 5f hvy in Jan.
Run Wild Fred (IRE) 13-2 (12-0) Reminder early, bumped with rival and slightly impeded 1st, prominent, slight mistake 7th, disputed 3rd after 9th, pushed along briefly after 12th, closed up 3 out, on terms 2 out, slight mistake last, headed and kept on same pace run-in, 2nd of 8, 1 1/2l behind Longhouse Poet (12-0) at Punchestown 3m 1f hvy in Dec.
Speak Easy 20-1 (11-1) Towards rear for most, ridden and no extra before 2 out, weakened, 16th of 22, dist behind Castlebawn West (11-10) at Leopardstown 3m hcp Yielding in Dec.
Ten Ten (IRE) 13-2 (10-13) Mid-division, ridden and no impression after 2 out, 12th of 22, 30 1/2l behind Castlebawn West (11-10) at Leopardstown 3m hcp Yielding in Dec.
Smoking Gun (IRE) 3-1fav (12-0) Prominent, soon 3rd, 4th after 7th, slight mistake 8th, pushed along 5 out, mistake 4 out and not match leaders, headway again before 2 out, one pace last, 3rd of 8, 7l behind Treacysenniscorthy (11-5) at Cork 2m 4f hcp Soft - Heavy in Jan.
Aforementioned (FR) 33-1 (10-12) Held up towards rear, ridden and no impression before 3 out, mistake last, 14th of 22, 35l behind Castlebawn West (11-10) at Leopardstown 3m hcp Yielding in Dec.
The Big Dog (IRE) 4-1 (12-0) Close up, slightly bumped with rival 1st, slightly slow 4th, slightly impeded 7th, disputed 3rd after 9th, not fluent 10th, on terms 3 out, headed from next, no impression straight in 3rd until kept on without threatening run-in, 3rd of 8, 3l behind Longhouse Poet (12-0) at Punchestown 3m 1f hvy in Dec.
Dounikos (FR) 66-1 (11-6) Disputed lead early, slightly slow 2nd, disputed 2nd after 11th, pushed along from 6 out, lost position from before 4 out, weakened and pulled up before 2 out, at Fairyhouse 3m 5f hcp sft in Nov.