ROI DU MEE took a little while to warm up over fences but looks the finished article now. Gordon Elliott's charge was very impressive in beating Bob Lingo and Healys Bar at Punchestown earlier this month and the placed horses can hardly be expected to turn the tables barring accidents. Ad Idem was tiring in the closing stages when beating Ballymak over 2m6f at Navan so today's trip should prove ideal, but Alpha Ridge hasn't quite recaptured the kind of form that saw him narrowly beaten by China Rock at Galway in 2009. Saddler's Native has done nothing to suggest he is up to winning in this grade.
Ad Idem (IRE) 2-1 (11-12) Tracked leaders, 6th halfway, headway to lead before 3 out, drew clear before last, kept on under pressure run-in, tired badly closing stages, held on, won at Navan 2m 6f beg chase hvy in Jan beating Ballymak (11-12) by 1/2l, 18 ran.
Alpha Ridge (IRE) 9-2fav (10-11) Always prominent, led and disputed from 7th, edged clear after 4 out, strongly pressed 2 out, headed approaching last, no extra, 4th of 18, 7l behind Siegemaster (11-7) at Gowran Park 3m hcp chs sft in Jan.
Bob Lingo (IRE) 5-2 (11-10) Led, extended advanatge from 8th, reduced lead 4 out, headed next and soon no extra, moderate 2nd 2 out, kept on one pace under pressure, 2nd of 5, 11l behind Roi Du Mee (11-10) at Punchestown 2m 6f nov chs hvy.
Healys Bar (IRE) 7-1 (11-4) Chased leaders, mainly 3rd, closer 4 out, briefly challenged next, soon no extra under pressure, kept on one pace in straight without threatening winner, 3rd of 5, 13l behind Roi Du Mee (11-10) at Punchestown 2m 6f nov chs hvy.
Roi Du Mee (FR) 9-4fav (11-10) Chased leader in 2nd, closer 4 out, good headway to lead next, soon ridden clear, in command when steadied and edged left at last, kept on well, easily, won at Punchestown 2m 6f nov chs hvy beating Bob Lingo (11-10) by 11l, 5 ran.
Saddler's Native (IRE) 25-1 (10-8) Mid-division, dropped towards rear in moderate 11th after 3 out, soon no danger, kept on without threatening, left 2 places better at last 2 fences, 3rd of 12, well behind Quarryvale (9-13) at Clonmel 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-123 hvy.