LUKE'S BENEFIT is taking exactly the same route as a year ago when, following his victory at Punchestown on New Year's Eve, he came here to win this. He's 8lb higher this time but Brian Cawley can use his 7lb claim and a follow-up is on the cards. Uncle Tom Cobley finished runner-up a year ago and runs from the same mark and though Rubert hasn't progressed as expected there was nothing wrong with his second to Jacksonslady on St Stephens Day when Lead Kindly Light was badly impeded and well beaten. Ros Brin is still a novice and defied an early mistake to score at Clonmel. She's learning with every run and still looks capable of better than today's handicap mark. Klepht and Quiet Thought are others with chances in an open contest.
Hughies Grey (IRE) 16-1 (10-3) Led, mistake and headed 11th, no extra from 3 out, weakened, tailed off, 9th of 12, well behind Paddy Pub (9-7) at Naas 3m hcp chs sft in Mar.
Klepht (IRE) 20-1 (11-8) Led, headed 6th, weakened after 4 out, last of 7, well behind Oscars Well (11-8) at Navan 2m 1f nov chs hvy in Dec.
Lead Kindly Light (IRE) 8-1 (10-13) Held up, hampered 5 out, weakened from 2 out, 11th of 16, 23l behind Jacksonslady (10-13) at Leopardstown 2m 1f hcp chs sft in Dec.
Uncle Tom Cobley (IRE) 8-1 (10-11) Led, ridden and headed before 2 out, soon weakened, 6th of 8, 18l behind Apt Approach (11-2) at Fairyhouse 2m 4f hdl sft in Dec.
Ros Brin (IRE) 3-1fav (11-2) Tracked leader in 2nd, led before 5th, driven along and strongly pressed 2 out, kept on well from before last, won at Clonmel 2m beg chs in Dec beating Tadhg (11-12) by 6l, 15 ran.
Majestic Oak (FR) 10-1 (10-13) Mid-division, 10th 3 out, no impression from before next, 14th of 23, 50l behind Shariyan (10-11) at Leopardstown 2m 2f hcp hdl 80-116 sft in Dec.
Rubert (IRE) 16-1 (10-0) Soon close up, led 5 out, strongly pressed after 3 out, headed entering straight, 3rd last, kept on under pressure, 2nd of 16, 3l behind Jacksonslady (10-13) at Leopardstown 2m 1f hcp chs sft in Dec.
Colls Corner (IRE) 7-1 (9-10) Soon mid-division, not fluent 7th, pushed along after, soon in rear, moderate 8th and kept on same pace approaching straight, 6th of 13, 21l behind Jack Absolute (11-0) at Limerick 2m 3f hcp chs 0-145 hvy in Dec.
Luke's Benefit (IRE) 2-1fav (11-0) Tracked leaders, 3rd halfway, slight mistake 4 out and ridden in 5th 2 out, rallied to go 3rd at last and kept on best under pressure run-in to lead closing stages, won at Punchestown 2m hcp chs 0-116 hvy in Dec beating Itsuptoyou (10-13) by 3/4l, 8 ran.
Quiet Thought (IRE) 20-1 (11-7) Led until blundered 5th and dropped back to 7th, 5th entering straight, kept on same pace to go 3rd run-in without troubling first 2, 3rd of 9, 15l behind Noras Fancy (11-6) at Thurles 2m 2f hcp chs 0-116 hvy in Dec.
Beneficial Spirit (IRE) 33-1 (10-4) Prominent, 3rd halfway, challenged after 3 out, weakened from next, 10th of 23, 25l behind Shariyan (10-11) at Leopardstown 2m 2f hcp hdl 80-116 sft in Dec.
Quartetto (GER) 5-1 (11-4) Mid div, slow 6th & 8th, rdn in 5th & in tch when brd 3out, in a race won by Jamadiel (11-4) at The Pigeons 3m ire ptp sft in Mar, 13 ran.