Hurdling newcomer Gentleman Duke won just once in a dozen starts on the Flat and was behind today's rival Hisaabaat at Limerick in September. The latter made his debut over timber at Leopardstown's Xmas meeting but unshipped Paul Townend at the second in the race won by Chill. SPORTSMASTER didn't get much further that day though he had excuses as he was badly impeded and Edward O'Grady's charge, who was very progressive on the Flat, can make amends. Musawama put a moderate hurdling debut effort behind him with a much stronger performance at Gowran and further progress will see him in the mix.
Gentleman Duke (IRE) 6-1 (8-9) Dwelt, towards rear, kept on without threatening under pressure straight, 4th of 10, 6l behind Park Ranger (8-11) at Listowel 1m 1f hcp hvy in Sep (flat).
Hisaabaat (IRE) 7-1 (11-0) Mid-division, unseated rider 2nd, in a race won by Chill (11-0) at Leopardstown 2m 3yo mdn hdl in Dec, 15 ran.
Long Time Coming (IRE) 50-1 (11-0) Towards rear for most, never a factor, 9th of 15, 27l behind Chill (11-0) at Leopardstown 2m 3yo mdn hdl in Dec.
Musawama (IRE) 25-1 (10-8) Mid-division, improved into 4th on outer before 2 out, soon ridden and no extra, 5th of 11, 9l behind One Cool Shabra (10-11) at Gowran Park 2m 3yo hdl sft in Dec.
Sportsmaster (IRE) 3-1 (11-0) Chased leaders, badly hampered and unseated rider 4th, in a race won by Chill (11-0) at Leopardstown 2m 3yo mdn hdl in Dec, 15 ran.
Sunset Stanza 50-1 (10-7) Mid-division, 9th halfway, ridden and no extra 2 out, 11th of 15, 37l behind Chill (11-0) at Leopardstown 2m 3yo mdn hdl in Dec.