A strong turnout for the money with FIRST LIEUTENANT given the vote to confirm the good impression of his recent Punchestown success. A winner between the flags and of a bumper, he looks a staying chaser in the making so it was a good effort to land a hurdle race over today's trip last time where the slow pace was against him. Sizing Mexico is an interesting newcomer to fences as he easily landed a point at Dromahane on his debut before winning a bumper here in December. Brog An Ri is fit from a couple of recent runs on the Flat and has done enough over timber to get competitive here while Smokey Joe Joe beat a huge field at Galway in impressive fashion and though taking on older rivals looks potentially useful.
Aughnacurraveel (IRE) 11-4 (11-4) Chased leaders, 6th and headway travelling well approaching 2 out, soon closed, ridden to challenge and lead run-in, stayed on well, won at Tramore 2m 4f mdn hdl in Oct beating Traffic Article (11-4) by 1 1/4l, 15 ran.
Brog An Ri (IRE) 11-4fav (11-12) Held up in rear, progress after 4 out, went 4th entering straight, 3rd after 2 out, kept on one pace under pressure without reaching leaders, 3rd of 11, 4 1/2l behind Askanna (11-2) at Gowran Park 2m 4f hdl in Oct.
First Lieutenant (IRE) 1-2fav (11-12) Tracked leaders, jumped well, improved into 2nd approaching halfway, led before 2 out, soon ridden and strongly pressed, stayed on well to assert after last, won at Punchestown 2m 4f mdn hdl gd in Oct beating White Star Line (11-12) by 2 1/2l, 23 ran.
Moon Dice (IRE) 4-1 (11-6) Tracked leader in 2nd, not fluent 6th, challenging when not fluent 2 out, 3rd when awkward again at last, no impression run-in, 4th of 7, 5l behind Anshan Dreams (11-6) at Cork 2m nh nov hdl gf in Oct.
Tough Talkin Man (IRE) 7-1 (11-4) Mid-division, closed after 3 out, 2nd before straight, led 2 out, pressed and stayed on well run-in, won at Roscommon 2m 4f mdn hdl in Sep beating Pops Rocket (11-4) by 1 1/4l, 18 ran.
Smokey Joe Joe (IRE) 10-1 (11-3) Chased leader, moderate 3rd halfway, closer in 2nd approaching 3 out, led after next, soon sent clear, mistake last, stayed on well, won at Gowran Park 2m 4yo mdn hdl in Oct beating Blue Ridge Lane (11-5) by 9l, 20 ran.
Augosto (IRE) 12-1 (11-11) Chased leaders, 8th halfway, ridden and no extra 4f out, kept on one pace, 10th of 18, 30l behind The Shepherd King (12-0) at Listowel 2m N H flat gd in Sep.
Council Official (IRE) 5-1 (12-0) Pr, mstk 3rd, wknd from 8th, lst tch & rr when fell 4out, in a race won by Tenspinhits (12-0) at Killaloe 3m ire ptp sft in Feb, 17 ran.
Sizing Mexico (IRE) Evensfav (11-9) Mid-division, 7th halfway, closer in 5th over 3f out, 2nd into straight, led 2f out, soon strongly pressed and kept on best under pressure, won at Fairyhouse 2m 4yo nhf hvy in Dec beating Toor Brook Honours (11-2) by 1 1/4l, 16 ran.
Sole Witness (IRE) 7-1 (11-6) Chased leaders, 6th halfway, ridden in 5th before 3 out, soon no extra and weakened, 11th of 16, 45l behind Mr Bones (11-3) at Bellewstown 2m 4f hcp hdl 80-102 gf in Jul.