A tremendous line up here, easily worthy of Grade 1 status. Voler La Vedette won this a year ago but hasn't looked at her best in her two runs this season. Beaten by Whatuthink when long odds-on at Navan, she had no answer to ZAIDPOUR and Monksland in the Hatton's Grace at Fairyhouse though a moderate gallop wouldn't have aided her cause. The winner had beaten her narrowly in the Galmoy Hurdle over this trip at Gowran in January and it's difficult to see a reversal of that form. Monksland hasn't had the experience of those rivals and there's probably more to come over today's trip, which he races over for the first time under Rules. So Young set the pace in the Hatton's Grace but couldn't find a finishing burst so this longer trip may be in his favour while it's good to see the 2010 RSA Chase winner Weapon's Amnesty back in action and he's still young enough to make his presence felt when reverting to fences.
Zaidpour (FR) 7-4fav (11-10) Tracked leaders in 3rd, close 3rd 2 out, soon ridden, led before last, stayed on well run-in, won at Fairyhouse 2m 4f hdl G1 (1) sft beating Monksland (11-10) by 2 1/2l, 5 ran.
Monksland (IRE) 4-1 (11-10) Held up in last, went 4th 2 out, soon ridden, 3rd before last, went 2nd inside final furlong, stayed on well close home, 2nd of 5, 2 1/2l behind Zaidpour (11-10) at Fairyhouse 2m 4f hdl G1 (1) sft.
Owega Star (IRE) 4-1 (11-5) Soon chased leader in 2nd, closed approaching 4 out where good jump and travelling well, on terms into straight, in front before 3 out, soon strongly pressed, asserted last, stayed on run-in, won at Navan 2m 4f hdl G2 (1) hvy beating Maller Tree (11-5) by 1 3/4l, 5 ran.
Rigour Back Bob (IRE) 14-1 (11-2) Chased leader in 2nd, ridden and no extra entering straight, 4th of 5, 12l behind Midnight Game (11-2) at Fairyhouse 2m hdl sft.
Whatuthink (IRE) 4-1 (11-10) Attempted to make all and soon clear, slight mistake 8th, soon reduced lead, pushed along before straight, soon joined and headed, no extra from before 3 out, 3rd of 5, 45l behind Owega Star (11-5) at Navan 2m 4f hdl G2 (1) hvy.
Folsom Blue (IRE) 11-4fav (11-10) Tracked leaders in 3rd, 2nd and ridden to challenge from after 3 out, every chance approaching last, no extra run-in, 2nd of 11, 2l behind Bishopsfurze (11-0) at Thurles 2m 6f hdl in Nov.
So Young (FR) 9-2 (11-10) Led, ridden and headed before 2 out where mistake, dropped to 4th and no extra before last, 4th of 5, 12l behind Zaidpour (11-10) at Fairyhouse 2m 4f hdl G1 (1) sft.
Maller Tree 5-1 (11-5) Soon raced in moderate 3rd, closed going well 4 out, 2nd before 3 out, soon challenged, not match winner last, kept on same pace run-in, 2nd of 5, 1 3/4l behind Owega Star (11-5) at Navan 2m 4f hdl G2 (1) hvy.
Voler La Vedette (IRE) 7-4fav (11-3) Tracked leaders in 4th, progress from 3 out, led before 2 out, soon ridden and strongly pressed, headed before last, no extra and dropped to 3rd inside final furlong, 3rd of 5, 4l behind Zaidpour (11-10) at Fairyhouse 2m 4f hdl G1 (1) sft.
Weapon's Amnesty (IRE) 10-1 (11-4) Held up towards rear, not fluent 9th, headway after 4 out, led soon after 2 out, in command last, ran on well, won at Cheltenham 3m nov chs G1 (1) gd in Mar '10 beating Burton Port (11-4) by 7l, 9 ran.