led, joined approaching halfway, soon headed and raced in moderate 2nd, closed from before straight, led again under 3f out, ridden to assert from 2f out, stayed on well
tracked leader, 3rd approaching halfway, soon well off pace, closed from before straight, ridden to chase winner 2f out, soon no impression, kept on same pace
tracked leaders, took keen hold and went 2nd approaching halfway, soon on terms and led, quickly went on, reduced lead from before straight, headed under 3f out, soon dropped to 4th and no extra
in rear, well off pace halfway, moderate 4th 4f out, closed from before straight, 3rd and ridden 2f out, soon no impression, one pace
soon raced in 4th, well off pace halfway, dropped to last 4f out, pushed along into straight, soon no extra
Gordon Elliott won this with the exciting Samcro last season and looks to have this in the bag. Felix Desjy and RAPID ESCAPE are in the same ownership and attempt to land relatively rare hat-tricks in bumpers under penalties. It's difficult to evaluate the form but the latter may just edge it. Jamie Codd rode last year's winner but this time rides for Gavin Cromwell on board Lady Ischia, who started a short-priced favourite for a Listed contest here after her impressive Naas victory but can't have been right. One First Cut has disappointed since making a successful debut at Thurles in December.
Rapid Escape (IRE) 4-6fav (11-7) Chased leaders and 4th 5f out, soon took closer order in 3rd, improved to lead on inner from 2f out, ridden and kept on well inside final furlong, comfortably, won at Punchestown 2m Soft - Heavy in Nov beating The Holy One (11-0) by 4l, 8 ran.
Lady Ischia (IRE) 11-10fav (11-6) Mid-division on inner, headway entering straight, ridden in 4th 2 1/2f out, no impression final furlong, 5th of 13, 19 3/4l behind Crackerdancer (11-9) at Navan 2m lst (1) Soft - Heavy in Nov.
One First Cut (IRE) 10-1 (11-5) Tracked leaders, 5th halfway, close up in 4th when slight mistake and unseated rider 2 out, at Limerick 2m mdn sft in Dec.
Holycross Lito (IRE) 4-1fav (11-9) Led and disputed, led over 4f out, ridden and disputed 2f out, headed over 1f out, no extra in 3rd inside final furlong, kept on same pace, 3rd of 18, 6 1/2l behind Duhallow Gesture (11-9) at Tipperary 2m 2f gd in May.
Miss Echrad (IRE) 66-1 (11-5) In rear, 16th 7f out, headway under 5f out, 11th 3f out, progress to 3rd approaching straight, soon ridden, 4th 1f out, no impression, kept on same pace, 4th of 16, 12l behind Moonlight Escape (11-5) at Galway 2m fll Soft - Heavy in Oct.
Felix Desjy (FR) 4-9fav (11-11) Led, pressed over 2f out, ridden and headed 1 1/2f out, stayed on to lead again final 100 yards, kept on well close home, won at Down Royal 2m sft in Nov beating Cask Mate (11-11) by 1 1/2l, 6 ran.