Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott both saddle two here. MONKFISH and Vis Ta Loi represent the champion trainer and the former looked a potentially smart stayer when winning easily over 2m7f at Fairyhouse on heavy ground. The latter has been narrowly beaten in two starts in graded company since landing a Clonmel maiden so looks certain to make his presence felt as he holds Alpine Cobra on their run in a Limerick Grade 2 last time. Gordon Elliott's pair Run Wild Fred and Festival D'ex also enter the fray in top form. The former was always in the front rank when scoring at Navan while the latter, a bumper winner, sauntered home over 2m on the same track and is likely to be suited by this much longer trip.
Alpine Cobra (IRE) 12-1 (11-3) Soon raced in 5th, slight mistake 2nd, pushed along approaching straight, soon no impression, 5th of 8, 20 3/4l behind Fury Road (11-6) at Limerick 2m 7f (1) hvy in Dec.
Monkfish (IRE) 1-2fav (11-4) Tracked leaders on outer, took keen hold, disputed lead briefly from 7th to 8th, led from 3 out, went clear from 2 out, stayed on well under hands and heels inside final furlong, comfortably, won at Fairyhouse 2m 7f mdn hvy in Dec beating Time To Get Up (11-4) by 11l, 9 ran.
Run Wild Fred (IRE) 11-4 (11-12) Soon close up and disputed, led before 2 out, not fluent last, strongly pressed and stayed on best run-in, won at Navan 2m 4f mdn sft in Dec beating Joshua Webb (11-8) by 1/2l, 14 ran.
Vis Ta Loi (FR) 7-1 (11-3) Led, a little slow 4 out, joined before next, pushed along before straight, soon headed, kept on without matching front pair run-in, 3rd of 8, 1 3/4l behind Fury Road (11-6) at Limerick 2m 7f (1) hvy in Dec.
Festival D'ex (FR) 5-4fav (11-7) Close up and disputed lead briefly early, 4th from 3rd, soon 3rd, slight mistake 6th, well off pace from next, closed from 3 out, stayed on well run-in to lead from over 50yds out, pushed out, won at Navan 2m mdn sft in Dec beating Fusain (11-7) by 1 3/4l, 26 ran.
Celine Soprano (IRE) 28-1 (11-5) Mid-division, 7th after 4 out and no extra early straight, weakened, never a factor, 10th of 14, dist behind Escaria Ten (11-12) at Cork 3m mdn sft in Jan.
French Dynamite (FR) 25-1 (11-7) Held up in touch in last, niggled along early, ridden in moderate last before 3 out, went remote 5th after 2 out, never a factor, 5th of 6, 33 1/2l behind Envoi Allen (11-10) at Naas 2m 4f (1) Good - Yielding in Jan.