HISAABAAT, runner-up in the Triumph Hurdle and winner of the Champion Four-Year-Old Hurdle at Punchestown, has a Grade 1 penalty to carry and faces a stiff test but he looks an exciting prospect and is handed the vote. Jezki will be a tough opponent in receipt of 11lb as Jessica Harrington's dual bumper winner gained an impressive victory over a strong field of maidens over the C&D last month. There's probably much more to come from the French import Gorgeous Sixty and with all the allowances Willie Mullins' filly looks a threat. None of the remainder can be entirely ruled out especially the progressive Pageboy, as he's been going well on the Flat.
Hisaabaat (IRE) 9-2 (10-7) 9th of 11, 46l behind Usual Suspects (10-7) at Auteuil(FR) 2m 3f 4yo hdl Grd 1 sft in Jun.
Pageboy (IRE) 11-10fav (11-6) Chased leaders in 3rd, improved to challenge 3 out, led before 2 out, ridden clear before last, easily, won at Cork 2m 4yo hdl in Aug beating White Feathers (10-12) by 9l, 6 ran.
Arnaud (IRE) 33-1 (11-0) Waited with, towards rear approaching 3 out, no extra from next, 12th of 13, well behind Hisaabaat (11-0) at Punchestown 2m 4yo hdl Grade 1 (1) hvy in Apr.
Director's Forum (IRE) 3-1 (11-4) Waited with at ordinary pace on inner, headway to chase winner from 2f out, soon no impression under pressure, kept on same pace, 3rd of 18, 8l behind Gilt Shadow (11-8) at Down Royal 2m N H flat gs.
Jezki (IRE) 7-4 (11-7) Tracked leaders, 4th halfway, 2nd entering straight and poised to challenge 2 out, ridden run-in and kept on best to lead closing stages, won at Naas 2m 4yo mdn hdl sft in Oct beating Ally Cascade (11-7) by 3/4l, 12 ran.
Strategic Bid 10-1 (11-2) Led and took keen hold, well clear halfway, headed 3 out and soon ridden in 3rd, well held in moderate 3rd when bad mistake last, 3rd of 9, 36l behind Sizing Rio (11-2) at Fairyhouse 2m 4yo mdn hdl sft in Oct.
Un Beau Matin (IRE) 5-2fav (11-6) Chased leaders in moderate 3rd, 4th 5 out, ridden and weakened next, pulled up after 3 out, in a race won by Mulleady (10-7) at Limerick 2m 2f 4yo hdl sft in Oct, 7 ran.
Gorgeous Sixty (FR) 12-1 (9-10) 10th of 11, 10l behind Esmondo (10-10) at Auteuil(FR) 2m 3f 4yo hdl Grd 3 sft in May.