Mount Benbulben defied some sticky jumping to win comfortably at Thurles and will need to put in a better round against these. Oscars Well couldn't quite get to the classy Arvika Ligeonniere in the Grade 1 Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown then made a very bad mistake behind Benefficent in the Arkle a month later. He should go well and Dedigout is another to consider after his easy win at Naas which was an improvement on his previous run behind Buckers Bridge at Navan. Willie Mullins had several entries at the early stage and relies on the enigmatic MIKAEL D'HAGUENET, whose jumping has held his progress back but who beat subsequent RSA Chase winner Lord Windermere easily at Punchestown in December and is given another chance here.
Buckers Bridge (IRE) 7-2 (11-4) Led early, soon raced in 2nd, challenged and on terms 3 out, headed run-in, rallied well to lead near line, won at Navan 2m 1f nov chs G2 (1) hvy in Feb beating Twinlight (11-10) by hd, 5 ran.
Dedigout (IRE) 7-4fav (11-2) Tracked leaders in 4th/5th, closer in 2nd 3 out, led after next, pushed out and stayed on strongly from last, easily, won at Naas 2m 4f nov chs Grd 3 (1) sft beating You Must Know Me (11-2) by 8l, 7 ran.
Mikael D'haguenet (FR) 4-7fav (11-5) Tracked leaders, went 2nd 5 out, improved to dispute lead travelling well when bad mistake and on ground 3 out, recovered and moderate 6th entering straight, asked for effort from 2 out and ran on well, went 3rd close home, unlucky, 3rd of 6, 8l behind Sweeney Tunes (11-5) at Naas 2m 4f nov chs G2 (1) in Feb.
Mount Benbulben (IRE) 11-4 (11-0) Waited with towards rear, closer order 7 out, slight mistake 5 out, good progress to lead 3 out, clear before last, stayed on well, easily, won at Thurles 2m 2f chs 0-145 sft in Feb beating Lastoftheleaders (11-3) by 11l, 8 ran.
Oscars Well (IRE) 13-8 (11-12) Tracked leader in 2nd, left in front 4 out, push along after 2 out, strongly pressed and joined when bad mistake at last, no impression on winner and eased run-in, 2nd of 3, 20l behind Benefficient (11-12) at Leopardstown 2m 1f nov chs G1 (1) hvy in Jan.
Realt Mor (IRE) 11-4 (11-12) Made all, went clear from 3rd, further clear from 5 out, stayed on strongly in straight, mistake 2 out, won unchallenged on bridle, won at Navan 2m 4f beg chase sft beating Shinrock Paddy (11-12) by 25l, 9 ran.