Son Amix is the youngest in this field and still open to progress, especially over this trip which he attempts for the first time. Gordon Elliott has The Shepherd in superb shape and though a 9lb rise for his victory over the C&D last time will make life tougher he still looks certain to give a good account. Saville Row makes his handicap debut after racing at Grade 3 level in novice events and can get involved but this can go to another making his handicap debut, OSCAR DAN DAN. Tom Mullins' charge will be having his 20th start over timber, almost all at a very high level after landing a maiden at Punchestown on his debut in 2008. He showed with a comfortable victory over Jumbo Rio at Navan in November that he's still on top of his game and the weights are not exactly against him. Four Chimneys had slipped to a fair mark when beating Luska Lad at Punchestown in first-time blinkers so a 7lb rise may not prove too much of a burden and the blinds are on again. Ainama and Sivota are others to consider in a wide-open contest.
Oscar Dan Dan (IRE) 9-1 (11-10) Led, headed halfway, remained prominent until ridden and lost place 2 out, no impression in 7th entering straight, rallied under pressure from before last, kept on one pace, 4th of 10, 10l behind Mourad (11-6) at Leopardstown 3m hdl G2 (1) in Dec.
Summit Meeting 12-1 (11-3) Tracked leaders, 3rd halfway, 6th 3 out, ridden and no extra approaching next, behind when pulled up before last, in a race won by Mourad (11-6) at Leopardstown 3m hdl G2 (1) in Dec, 10 ran.
Ainama (IRE) 9-2 (11-5) Held up towards rear, headway from 4 out, progress on outer early straight, ridden to lead 2 out, kept on well from last, won at Cork 2m 4f hcp hdl sft in Nov beating Big Game Hunter (10-2) by 2l, 9 ran.
Sivota (IRE) 4-5fav (11-10) Tracked leaders, keen hold, went 3rd before straight, struggling to get to leaders from 2 out, kept on same pace, 3rd of 6, 9l behind Rick (11-6) at Thurles 2m 6f hdl sft in Nov.
The Shepherd (IRE) 13-2 (10-9) In touch, 8th approaching halfway, 7th 3 out, improved into 4th after 2 out, ridden straight, led last, soon drew clear, comfortably, won at Leopardstown 3m hcp hdl 0-140 hvy in Dec beating Footy Facts (11-7) by 5l, 24 ran.
Son Amix (FR) 5-2fav (11-1) Chased leader in 2nd, disputed from 4th, led entering straight, ridden and challenged 3 out, soon headed, no extra in 3rd 2 out, kept on one pace, 4th of 6, 5l behind Rigour Back Bob (11-8) at Navan 2m 4f hdl G2 (1) sft in Dec.
Queiros Bleu (FR) 5-1 (11-6) Held up in rear, headway 3 out, led after next, hard pressed last, headed flat, kept on, 2nd of 6, 1/2l behind Final Day (11-6) at Cheltenham 2m 5f nh nov hdl (2) gd in Oct.
Four Chimneys (IRE) 16-1 (9-11) Towards rear, 6th halfway, steady headway on inner to go 3rd 2 out, pushed along into 2nd entering straight, hard ridden from before last, challenged run-in and kept on well under pressure to lead final strides, won at Punchestown 2m 4f hcp hdl hvy in Dec beating Luska Lad (11-7) by hd, 7 ran.
The Bishop Looney (IRE) 6-1 (10-9) Tracked leaders, closer in 3rd 4 out, disputed lead briefly before 2 out, kept on same pace from next, 3rd of 9, 2 1/2l behind Ainama (11-5) at Cork 2m 4f hcp hdl sft in Nov.
Across The Bay (IRE) 20-1 (10-11) In touch, 9th halfway, lost place 8 out, pulled up before 6 out, in a race won by Majestic Concorde (11-9) at Leopardstown 3m hcp chs 0-145 hvy in Dec, 28 ran.
Prince Rudi (IRE) 11-1 (10-9) Mid-division, 5th 4 out, soon ridden and no impression, 6th of 9, 6l behind Ainama (11-5) at Cork 2m 4f hcp hdl sft in Nov.
Silk Affair (IRE) 22-1 (10-3) Never better than mid-division, 10th of 21, 15l behind Dorset Square (9-12) at Punchestown 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-145 gd in Apr.
Saville Row (IRE) 3-1 (11-0) Raced 2nd, led from 7th, ridden after 3 out, headed entering straight, weakened before 2 out, 4th of 5, 23l behind Knockfierna (10-12) at Limerick 2m 6f nov hdl Grd 3 (1) in Dec.
I Hear A Symphony (IRE) 3-1 (11-5) Tracked leaders, mistake 5 out, went 3rd approaching 3 out, soon ridden and no impression, kept on one pace in straight, 3rd of 8, 15l behind Rubi Light (11-7) at Punchestown 2m hcp chs 0-140 in Nov.
Ambobo (USA) 33-1 (10-12) Towards rear, progress into 14th 2 out, stayed on from before last, 6th of 28, 11l behind Majestic Concorde (11-9) at Leopardstown 3m hcp chs 0-145 hvy in Dec.
Hold The Pin (IRE) 16-1 (10-10) Rear of mid-division, 12th 4 out, no impression from 2 out, 13th of 24, 18l behind The Shepherd (10-9) at Leopardstown 3m hcp hdl 0-140 hvy in Dec.
Qualviro (FR) 11-2 (11-5) Towards rear, niggled along in last from 8th, soon no impression, behind when pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Indifference Curve (11-7) at Thurles 2m 6f hcp chs 0-116 in Nov, 14 ran.
Square Sphere (IRE) 20-1 (10-5) In rear, no impression from 3 out, one pace, 15th of 24, 27l behind The Shepherd (10-9) at Leopardstown 3m hcp hdl 0-140 hvy in Dec.
Baron De Feypo (IRE) 25-1 (10-1) Prominent, 2nd from 6th, 3rd 3 out, soon ridden and lost place, one pace, 10th of 24, 13l behind The Shepherd (10-9) at Leopardstown 3m hcp hdl 0-140 hvy in Dec.
Shane Rock 20-1 (10-2) Tracked leaders, 5th 4 out, 4th brifely 2 out, weakened before last, 11th of 24, 17l behind The Shepherd (10-9) at Leopardstown 3m hcp hdl 0-140 hvy in Dec.
Duroob 33-1 (9-8) Always behind, 23rd of 24, well behind The Shepherd (10-9) at Leopardstown 3m hcp hdl 0-140 hvy in Dec.