disputed early, soon chased leader, slight mistake 2nd and held up behind leaders, 3rd halfway, ridden in 4th 3 out, no impression next, kept on one pace to 3rd run-in
soon chased leader in 2nd, challenged 3 out, ridden 2 out, under pressure in close 2nd before last, stayed on to lead run-in, kept on well closing stages
held up behind leaders, 5th halfway, closer in 3rd briefly before straight, ridden in 5th 3 out, soon no impression
held up behind leaders, 4th halfway, slight mistake 4 out, closer in 3rd 3 out, ridden to challenge 2 out, soon stayed on to narrow lead, headed run-in and no extra closing stages
disputed early, soon led, slight mistake 6th, ridden and challenged 3 out, headed after 2 out, no extra in 3rd before last, lost 3rd run-in
Willie Mullins has won the last three of these and can continue the sequence with SHANESHILL (NAP). The Punchestown Champion Bumper winner has only been beaten once, behind Silver Concorde in the Cheltenham version, and reversed the form at Punchestown. He made novicey errors on his hurdling bow at Fairyhouse but those will have been ironed out and he's an exciting prospect. No More Heroes was also a useful bumper and he made all for a facile victory in a maiden at Punchestown last month - he could be anything. Couleur France was having his seventh start over timber when winning easily at Fairyhouse but this is tougher as it is for the very progressive Pulled Mussel, and the form of his victory at Cork hasn't worked out. Shantou Flyer is the youngest in the race but has plenty of experience and produced his best run to date when chasing home the unbeaten Free Expression in a Grade 2 here last month.
Couleur France (IRE) 7-2fav (11-2) Chased leaders, 5th after 3rd, not fluent 6th, pushed along from 3 out, 4th before straight, challenged 2 out, led between last 2, clear from before last, ridden out and stayed on well run-in, comfortably, won at Fairyhouse 2m 4f nov hdl 0-123 in Nov beating Mr Diablo (11-2) by 8l, 10 ran.
No More Heroes (IRE) 2-11fav (11-12) Made all, asserted before last, not extended, won at Punchestown 2m 6f mdn hdl sft in Nov beating Mells Theater (11-12) by 9l, 8 ran.
Pulled Mussel (IRE) 3-1 (11-12) Soon chased leaders, moderate 6th before 4th, closer in moderate 3rd from 4 out, challenged 2 out, led before last where not fluent, joined run-in, pushed out to assert closing stages, won at Cork 2m 4f mdn hdl sft in Nov beating Mike Mccann (11-12) by 1 1/4l, 14 ran.
Shaneshill (IRE) 2-11fav (11-12) Tracked leaders, slight mistake 4th, 5th after 5th, not fluent 4 out and slight mistake next, 3rd approaching straight, led 2 out, slight mistake last, stayed on well to assert run-in, easily, won at Fairyhouse 2m 4f mdn hdl in Nov beating Keppols Queen (10-11) by 4l, 16 ran.
Shantou Flyer (IRE) 40-1 (10-13) Disputed lead, edged left briefly after 2 out, soon headed, kept on well under pressure run-in without matching winner, 2nd of 7, 1 1/4l behind Free Expression (11-3) at Navan 2m 4f nov hdl G2 (1) sft in Nov.