Hillman won three times in the spring of last year and though tailed off on his reappearance in January will strip much fitter this time. Willie Mullins is persevering with the once very-promising Popcorn, who had over two years off since easily beating Rathlin at Thurles in 2011. He's shown nothing since his comeback and pulled up at Punchestown last time when SOLE WITNESS finished runner-up. That was the latter's best effort for a very long time and, with just a 3lb rise to contend with, this looks within his capabilities. Glenquest hasn't won for over two years and is still higher in the weights while Duers has looked only moderate since landing a point-to-point in November. Becauseicouldntsee has dropped to a winnable mark and will be heading back to Cheltenham after this so is definitely one to keep an eye on.
Popcorn (FR) 14-1 (10-5) Always towards rear, no impression before 3 out, pulled up before last, in a race won by Folsom Blue (10-1) at Punchestown 3m 4f Handicap Chase (Grade C) (5yo+) hvy in Feb, 18 ran.
Becauseicouldntsee (IRE) 33-1 (10-0) Led, headed 3 out, weakened before next, 11th of 13, well behind Alvarado (10-0) at Cheltenham 3m 3f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gd in Nov.
Sole Witness (IRE) 14-1 (9-9) Led, ridden entering straight, headed before last and no extra, kept on same pace, 2nd of 18, 3 1/2l behind Folsom Blue (10-1) at Punchestown 3m 4f Handicap Chase (Grade C) (5yo+) hvy in Feb.
Glenquest (IRE) 8-1 (10-13) Led, ridden and headed before last, no extra and kept on one pace, lost 3rd close home, 4th of 13, 13l behind Hazariban (11-5) at Gowran Park 2m 4f hcp hdl 8Evens23 hvy in Feb.
Tullintain (IRE) 5-1 (11-9) Soon chased leaders, moderate 5th approaching 2 out, soon no extra,, 8th of 12, 37l behind Playing (10-8) at Limerick 2m 6f hvy in Dec.
Headford Flyer (IRE) 2-1 (12-2) Alw rr, 9th 1/2way sl prog in fair 7th aftr 2out, went 4th up last & 3rd aftr last, sn no ex, ko onepcd, 3rd of 10, 14l behind Lonesome Glory (12-2) at Tallow 3m ire ptp in Feb.
Duers (IRE) 14-1 (11-4) Held up towards rear, ridden in 8th 2 out, no impression before last, kept on one pace, 7th of 16, 13l behind Love Rory (11-11) at Punchestown 3m crs cntry chs (5yo+) hvy in Feb.
Hillman (IRE) 5-1 (10-7) Soon mid-division, lost place from 7th, pushed along towards rear from 5 out, no extra straight, 7th of 11, well behind Playing (10-13) at Cork 2m 4f hcp chs 0-130 hvy in Jan.
Benefit Night (IRE) 33-1 (11-4) Led, headed 5th, regained lead 14th, headed 5 out, ridden in 3rd 2 out, no extra before last, 9th of 16, 35l behind Love Rory (11-11) at Punchestown 3m crs cntry chs (5yo+) hvy in Feb.
Montana Slim (IRE) 12-1 (11-10) Towards rear, 9th after 4 out, no extra from before straight, 7th of 14, 24l behind Another Challenge (11-6) at Thurles 3m hcp hdl 80-116 hvy in Feb.
Cherryantor (IRE) 20-1 (9-10) Rear of mid-division, weakened from 5 out, behind when pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Blissful Moment (10-10) at Down Royal 3m hcp chs 0-116 hvy in Feb, 10 ran.