Willie Mullins had several entries at the early stage so the fact that he relies on TWINLIGHT speaks volumes. The six-year-old has already won five times over fences, including an impressive victory at this level at Naas last time, and should carry on the good work. Realt Dubh hasn't won since gaining a third Grade 1 success at Fairyhouse in April 2011. He receives no penalty for those victories but was behind Days Hotel in this a year ago when Foildubh was fourth. The winner was subsequently beaten by Foildubh at Fairyhouse but returned with a fine run behind Flemenstar at Navan and looks the main threat. None of the remainder can be dismissed but will need to raise their game.
Days Hotel (IRE) 13-2 (11-10) Tracked leaders in 3rd, awkward jump 2nd, pushed along after 4 out, headway to go 2nd approaching last, ridden run-in but no impression on winner, kept on same pace, 2nd of 4, 1 1/4l behind Flemenstar (11-12) at Navan 2m chs Grd 2 (1) in Nov.
Foildubh (IRE) 7-2 (11-10) Tracked leader, led from 6th, pressed and joined from before 2 out, left in lead again and stayed on well from last, all out,, won at Thurles 2m 6f hdl gd in Nov beating Rubi Ball (11-0) by hd, 7 ran.
Twinlight (FR) 11-4 (11-10) Tracked leader in 2nd and kept wide, headway to dispute early straight and led after 2 out, drew clear run-in and stayed on well, easily, won at Naas 2m chs Grade 3 (1) in Oct beating Oscars Well (11-5) by 7l, 6 ran.
Dylan Ross (IRE) 7-2 (11-7) Held up in 4th, headway in 3rd entering straight, closer in 2nd 2 out, ridden last, no impression winner run-in, kept on same pace, 2nd of 4, 2 3/4l behind Rupert Lamb (11-7) at Naas 2m chs in Nov.
Realt Dubh (IRE) 11-10fav (11-0) Tracked leaders in 3rd, led 3 out, ridden after 2 out and headed last, no impression on winner run-in, 2nd of 6, 3 1/2l behind Noble Prince (11-0) at Thurles 2m 6f lst chs (1) gd in Nov.
Savello (IRE) 10-3 (11-10) Led, headed before 6th, raced in 2nd after, dropped to 3rd 2 out, weakened from before last, 3rd of 4, 25l behind Buckers Bridge (11-10) at Gowran Park 2m 4f chs in Nov.
Lead Kindly Light (IRE) 10-1 (10-11) Tracked leaders, ridden in 3rd after 3 out, no impression from next, 7th of 13, 11l behind Sraid Padraig (10-13) at Fairyhouse 2m 1f in Nov.