Minella For Value has been in superb form and won three times in just over a month. His one defeat came against today's rival Rockshandy on very fast ground at Galway and the winner looks to have the best of the weights for this rematch. Count Salazar is very consistent and lost nothing in defeat when attempting to concede The Book Thief 23lb at Kilbeggan and being beaten a short-head. BRUFF was in very good form at this time a year ago and was having only his second start of the year when scoring comfortably on testing ground at Galway in August. He looks like a progressive chaser and can complete the double, though Leblon is another with chances from her lowly spot in the handicap.
Count Salazar (IRE) 7-1 (11-7) Prominent, a bit slow 5th, led 2 out, clear approaching straight, not fluent last and drifted a bit left run-in, caught on line, 2nd of 11, shd behind The Book Thief (9-12) at Kilbeggan 3m 1f hcp chs 0-123 gd in Sep.
Minella For Value (IRE) 13-8fav (11-5) Chased leaders in 3rd, closer after 5 out and went 2nd approaching 2 out, ridden to lead after 2 out and kept on well to assert run-in, won at Ballinrobe 2m 6f chs gd in Sep beating Fantastic Gold (11-3) by 2 3/4l, 10 ran.
St Devote (FR) 6-1 (11-3) Waited with early, close to track leaders before 4 out, 6th 3 out, kept on same pace from after next, 7th of 17, 17l behind House Rules (11-4) at Down Royal 2m 4f hcp chs gd in May.
Acapulco Gold (IRE) 4-1 (11-7) In touch, went 3rd before 3 out, led last, kept on strongly, won at Perth 3m hcp chs 0-120 (4) gd in Sep beating Wild Geese (11-12) by 6l, 6 ran.
Another Palm (IRE) 10-1 (10-8) Led, mistake and headed 5 out, soon weakened, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Double Seven (10-6) at Kilbeggan 3m 1f hcp chs gf in Jul, 14 ran.
Bruff (IRE) 5-1fav (10-1) Mid-division on inner and 7th halfway, good headway approaching 2 out to go 3rd, 2nd early run-in and travelled best to lead 1f out, drew clear inside final furlong, won at Galway 2m 6f hcp chs hvy in Aug beating Ballyburke (10-8) by 6l, 17 ran.
Tinakellylad (IRE) 16-1 (11-6) Tracked leaders, mistake 6th, weakened from 5 out, pulled up before
Prosperity Square (IRE) 8-1 (9-10) Soon disputed lead at ordinary pace, narrow leader before 3 out, headed from next, soon no impression, kept on same pace, 3rd of 12, 6l behind The Real Article (11-4) at Listowel 2m 4f hcp chs in Sep.
Rockshandy (IRE) 13-2 (10-12) Disputed early and tracked leader in 2nd clear of remainder, led 7th, reduced advantage over main group before 4 out, headed after 2 out, no impression when mistake last and dropped to 3rd, no extra run-in, 3rd of 10, 7l behind Minella For Value (11-5) at Ballinrobe 2m 6f chs gd in Sep.
Leblon (IRE) 6-1 (11-3) Soon disputed lead, not fluent 6th, pressed from before 2 out, headed away from last and soon no impression, kept on same pace, 2nd of 9, 4l behind Aughnacurraveel (11-5) at Kilbeggan 3m hdl gf in Sep.
Any Bets (IRE) 10-1 (10-3) Tracked leaders, 4th halfway, weakened from 3 out, pulled up after 2 out, in a race won by Green Thirty Two (10-0) at Ballinrobe 2m 4f hcp hdl 80-109 gd in Jul, 16 ran.
Close Review (IRE) 11-1 (10-12) Chased leaders and 6th halfway, no impression in 5th 2 out where left 4th, went 2nd at last and kept on under pressure run-in, not reach winner, 2nd of 13, 1/2l behind Shantalla (10-4) at Ballinrobe 2m 6f cnd hcp chs (0-109) gd in Sep.