FIRST LIEUTENANT, a dual Grade 1 winner over timber last season, jumped well enough on his debut over fences at Tipperary and looks a star of the future. He should continue his winning ways but there are several dangers not the least the high-class hurdler Oscar Dan Dan though he's making his chasing bow at an advanced age. Gates Of Rome was only 6l behind the classy Realt Dubh at Punchestown last November though he didn't do so well later while most of the remainder have taken well to fences and Stephanie Kate could prove a big threat with her allowances.
De Valira (IRE) 7-1 (11-1) Settled behind leaders, 5th halfway, ridden into close 3rd 2 out, no extra before last, kept on same pace, 3rd of 9, 11l behind Lucky William (11-1) at Punchestown 2m 2f nov chs (1).
First Lieutenant (IRE) 4-7fav (11-2) Tracked leader, led into straight, slight peck last, ridden out to assert run-in, won at Tipperary 2m 4f nov chs (1) sft beating Slieveardagh (11-5) by 1 3/4l, 5 ran.
Granaruid (IRE) 3-1fav (11-12) Settled behind leaders, 4th halfway, 3rd before 3 out, improved to lead 2 out, ridden before last, kept on well run-in, won at Kilbeggan 2m 4f beg chs gd in Sep beating Imperial Shabra (11-5) by 6l, 9 ran.
Ordinary Man (IRE) 7-1 (11-12) Mid-division, progress from 4 out, close 3rd on inner when left 2nd 2 out, soon ridden, led early run-in, kept on well, won at Tramore 2m 6f beg chs beating Special Token (10-12) by 3/4l, 10 ran.
Gates Of Rome (IRE) 11-4fav (11-12) Chased leaders, 3rd halfway, 2nd 6 out, improved to dispute before 2 out, ridden in 2nd and no extra when fell last, in a race won by Dundrum (11-12) at Down Royal 2m 4f beg chase in Feb, 18 ran.
Oscar Dan Dan (IRE) 33-1 (11-10) Mid-division best, no impression 2 out, 7th of 10, 19l behind Quevega (11-5) at Punchestown 3m hdl G1 (1) gs in May.
Spring The Que (IRE) 4-1 (11-12) Chased leaders, well off pace, closer in 4th before 2 out, soon no impression and kept on same pace, 6th of 13, 25l behind Sorceror (11-12) at Ballinrobe 2m beg chs hvy in Sep.
Stephanie Kate (IRE) 6-4fav (11-5) Soon raced in moderate 5th, closed after 5th, left 3rd from 4 out, 2nd approaching 2 out, soon on terms, slight mistake and headed from last, kept on without matching winner, 2nd of 8, 1/2l behind Our Victoria (11-7) at Sligo 2m 1f beg chs in Sep.