AUPCHARLIE looked a tremendous chasing prospect when easily landing a beginners' event at Gowran in November and confirmed that promise with an excellent run behind stablemate Back In Focus in Leopardstown's Grade 1 Topaz Novice Chase. Willie Mullins' charge was caught in the shadow of the post on that occasion and should have few problems going one better. Texas Jack and Tofino Bay were well beaten and would need the selection to have a mishap to get involved so Lord Windermere looks more of a threat as he's a very progressive type with few miles on the clock who beat a decent field at Leopardstown last time.
Aupcharlie (IRE) 8-1 (11-10) Settled towards rear, smooth headway on outer approaching 2 out and led travelling best early straight, pecked on landing last, ridden and kept on under pressure run-in, no extra and headed close home, 2nd of 12, hd behind Back In Focus (11-10) at Leopardstown 3m nov chs Grade 1 (4yo+) (1) sft in Dec.
Flamenco Prince 10-1 (9-6) Never a factor, behind 7th, 9th of 13, 33l behind Best Of Bocelli (11-3) at Thurles 2m 2f hcp chs 0-109 in Nov.
Lord Windermere (IRE) 9-4fav (11-12) Chased leaders, 5th halfway, pushed along in 4th 2 out, challenged and not clear run entering straight, led before last, kept on well, won at Leopardstown 2m 3f beg chs sft in Dec beating Marasonnien (11-12) by 2l, 12 ran.
Texas Jack (IRE) 33-1 (11-10) Settled in rear of mid-division on inner, headway after halfway and 2nd 4 out, disputed briefly after 2 out, ridden in 3rd approaching last and no extra run-in, 3rd of 12, 18l behind Back In Focus (11-10) at Leopardstown 3m nov chs Grade 1 (4yo+) (1) sft in Dec.
Tofino Bay (IRE) 9-1 (11-10) Tracked leader in 2nd, 3rd 4 out, dropped to 7th 2 out and no impression approaching straight, kept on one pace, 4th of 12, 27l behind Back In Focus (11-10) at Leopardstown 3m nov chs Grade 1 (4yo+) (1) sft in Dec.
Shabra Charity (IRE) 16-1 (10-7) Chased leaders in 6th, jumped slow, never a factor, tailed off, 6th of 8, well behind Ballinahow Lady (10-2) at Wexford 2m 6f chs gd in Oct.
One Cool Shabra (IRE) 33-1 (11-0) Led on inside, headed before 3rd, remained in touch, outpaced before 2 out, ridden and no impression when rider dropped whip between last 2, soon weakened, 6th of 7, 43l behind Zarkandar (11-4) at Cheltenham 2m 1f hdl G2 (1) hvy in Dec.