Easywork, a very easy bumper winner here early last month, was impressive when beating Mt Leinster on his hurdling bow at Gowran. But the runner-up's yard is represented by UNEXPECTED, who arrived from France and was having his first start for two years when impressing at Fairyhouse last month - he looks the one to beat. Discorama, a smart hurdler last season, has been chasing and may not have the pace of his two main rivals and though Doolough Lad and Allannahs Gold should both win races they may have to wait for another day.
Discorama (FR) 7-1 (11-10) Mid-division early, 16th before 8th, soon headway, kept on same pace from before 2 out, 8th of 23, 28 1/2l behind Chris's Dream (11-7) at Navan 3m hcp sft in Nov.
Easywork (FR) 11-8fav (11-12) Led, headed 3rd and tracked new leader, regained lead 3 out, travelling well 2 out, went clear before last, reduced lead at last, pushed along run-in, stayed on well under hands and heels inside final furlong, won at Gowran Park 2m mdn hvy in Nov beating Mt Leinster (11-12) by 1 1/2l, 14 ran.
Unexcepted (FR) 11-8 (11-4) Tracked leaders, headway to lead travelling well on inner entering straight, went clear 2 out, well clear on bridle at last, stayed on strongly, eased inside final furlong, impressive, won at Fairyhouse 2m mdn Soft - Heavy in Nov beating Jason The Militant (11-4) by 4 1/2l, 10 ran.
Allannahs Gold (IRE) 66-1 (11-0) Always towards rear, detached after 6th, no extra after 5 out, completely tailed off when jumped left and unseated rider last, at Clonmel 3m sft in Dec.
Doolough Lad (IRE) 5-1 (11-9) Towards rear, hampered 1st, took closer order from 6 out, improved to dispute lead before 4 out and soon led, headed after next and ridden, no extra in 3rd from last and dropped to 6th run-in, 6th of 10, 20 1/2l behind Ballyfinboy (11-8) at Downpatrick 2m 7f hcp sft in Oct.