According to official ratings, Silk Hall is the pick of the weights in this. He sprang a surprise in a Grade 3 at Tipperary last summer but has been less impressive recently. Maxim Gorky has been waiting for better ground and could figure after a break but Punchestown winner Cape Glory needs more and Protaras can be a bit hit-and-miss, though did score over course and distance three weeks ago. GIMLI'S ROCK likes small fields and, though well beaten twice on the Flat since beating three rivals over 3m at Kilbeggan, should give a good account here and is preferred to Synchronicity, who is upped in class.
Gimli's Rock (IRE) 7-2 (11-2) Raced mainly in 3rd, not fluent 8th, dropped off leaders after 4 out, dropped to rear after next, 3rd again before straight, challenged between horses 2 out, soon led, stayed on well to draw clear run-in, comfortably at the finish, won at Kilbeggan 3m hdl gd in May beating The Bishop Looney (11-2) by 6l, 4 ran.
Looking For Toby (IRE) 12-1 (11-11) Tracked leaders, 4th before straight, soon no impression under pressure, kept on same pace, 4th of 16, 7l behind Jansboy (11-12) at Limerick 2m 6f hcp hdl 80-109 gd in Oct.
Protaras (USA) 12-1 (11-7) Held up towards rear, slight mistake 4th, hampered 5 out, progress in moderate 6th before straight, closer 3 out, led before 2 out, ridden after 2 out, kept on well, won at Down Royal 2m 4f hcp hdl 80-116 gf in May beating Fresh By Nature (11-0) by 3 1/2l, 13 ran.
Silk Hall (UAE) 14-1 (11-12) Mid-division early, dropped to rear and ridden along from 3rd, no impression from 5 out, never a factor, 8th of 12, well behind Sadler's Risk (11-12) at Roscommon 2m 5f beg chs sft in May.
Synchronicity (IRE) 2-1fav (11-2) Led, headed after 4th, led again 4 out, ridden to assert approaching last, kept on under pressure run-in, won at Thurles 2m mdn hdl in Jan beating Macnicholson (10-11) by 1/2l, 18 ran.
Maxim Gorky (IRE) 33-1 (10-1) Rear of mid-division, ridden in 11th entering straight, no impression in 8th before last, kept on one pace, 7th of 24, 19l behind Gilgamboa (10-9) at Leopardstown 2m hcap hdle sft in Jan.
Cape Glory (IRE) 5-1 (11-4) Tracked leaders, closed up and ridden to challenge from before straight, led last, stayed on well to assert run-in, won at Punchestown 2m 4f mdn hdl beating Grand Partner (11-12) by 2l, 25 ran.