mid-division, mistake 3rd and dropped towards rear, 6th 4 out, pushed along and headway after 2 out, went 2nd at last, ridden and no impression on easy winner run-in, kept on one pace
Willie Mullins looks to have the answer here with four entries and ENERGUMENE is likely to be all the rage. A winning point-to-pointer, bumper and hurdler, he's looked an exceptional novice chaser in his two runs this campaign with an eight-length demolition of Captain Guinness at Naas looking very impressive form. This is his first run in graded company, however, so he meets much stronger rivals including stable companion Franco De Port, already a Grade 1 winner having beaten Darver Star four lengths in the Racing Post here on St Stephen's Day with Felix Desjy and Embittered following them home. Unexpected, another from the yard, made an impressive chasing bow at Tipperary where he jumped superbly.
Blackbow (IRE) 5-1 (11-10) Held up in last, off pace at halfway, slight mistake 6th, went moderate 3rd entering straight, pushed along 2 out and hung slightly left, no impression on leaders under hands and heels, 3rd of 4, 27 1/2l behind Energumene (11-10) at Naas 2m hvy in Jan.
Captain Guinness (IRE) 7-4 (11-10) Tracked leader in 2nd, 3rd briefly at 3rd, slight mistake 6th, close 2nd and pressed winner 2 out, soon ridden, kept on without threatening winner run-in, 2nd of 4, 8 1/2l behind Energumene (11-10) at Naas 2m hvy in Jan.
Darver Star (IRE) 4-1 (12-0) Chased leaders, headway to lead after 6th, ridden entering straight and strongly pressed last, soon headed, under pressure and no impression on winner, kept on one pace, 2nd of 6, 4 1/2l behind Franco De Port (12-0) at Leopardstown 2m 1f (1) Yielding in Dec.
Embittered (IRE) 13-2 (12-0) Chased leaders, 4th halfway and closer 4 out, went 3rd next, pushed along and close up on inner when hampered approaching straight, 4th and no impression before last, soon no extra, 4th of 6, 21l behind Franco De Port (12-0) at Leopardstown 2m 1f (1) Yielding in Dec.
Energumene (FR) 10-11fav (11-10) Made all, pressed 2 out, soon pushed along and went clear, stayed on strongly run-in, easily, won at Naas 2m hvy in Jan beating Captain Guinness (11-10) by 8 1/2l, 4 ran.
Felix Desjy (FR) 15-8fav (12-0) Soon led, slow 6th and headed, 2nd and mistake 3 out, ridden entering straight and no impression in 3rd before last, no extra run-in, 3rd of 6, 13 1/2l behind Franco De Port (12-0) at Leopardstown 2m 1f (1) Yielding in Dec.
Franco De Port (FR) 8-1 (12-0) In rear, closer 4 out and 4th next, headway on outer entering straight, pushed along to challenge last and soon led, ridden and kept on well run-in, won at Leopardstown 2m 1f (1) Yielding in Dec beating Darver Star (12-0) by 4 1/2l, 6 ran.
I'm A Game Changer (IRE) 80-1 (10-13) Rear, soon behind, trailing halfway, left remote 3rd before 5 out, never a factor, completely tailed off, 3rd of 5, dist behind Al Boum Photo (12-0) at Tramore 2m 5f (1) sft in Jan.
Unexcepted (FR) 7-2 (12-0) Prominent in 2nd, jumped well, led 5th, soon went on and well clear, stayed on well straight, easily, won at Tipperary 2m 1f Soft - Heavy in Oct beating Entoucas (12-0) by 8l, 12 ran.