BIG ZEB won this on his reappearance last season when there were only five runners and there's one less to worry about this time. Colm Murphy's charge went on to become the leading two-miler in the business subsequently with his brilliant victory over Forpadydeplasterer in the Queen Mother Champion Chase the obvious highlight. Golden Silver was beaten a long way at Cheltenham and was earlier seven lengths behind the selection at Punchestown and it would be a surprise if he could reverse the form. Joncol is better over further as he proved with a superb victory over Cooldine in the Hennessy Gold Cup over three miles at Leopardstown while Carthalawn was twice a long way behind Golden Silver last season and it would take a giant leap of faith to see him successful against this top-class opposition.
Big Zeb (IRE) 10-1 (11-10) Tracked leaders on inside, went 3rd 4 out, joined leader and going well next, led before last, ridden and stayed on well flat, won at Cheltenham 2m chs G1 (1) gd in Mar beating Forpadydeplasterer (11-10) by 6l, 9 ran.
Golden Silver (FR) 12-1 (11-12) Soon tracked leaders, went 2nd travelling best approaching last, soon on terms, led and stayed on well run-in, won at Punchestown 2m chs G1 (1) gd in Apr beating Forpadydeplasterer (11-12) by 2 1/2l, 11 ran.
Joncol (IRE) 9-4fav (11-10) Tracked leaders in 3rd, pushed along in 3rd entering straight, close 3rd when jumped right at last, disputed lead run-in, kept on well to lead close home, won at Leopardstown 3m Grade 1 chs (1) hvy in Feb beating Cooldine (11-10) by nk, 7 ran.
Carthalawn (IRE) 33-1 (11-10) Held up in rear, driven along after 5th, progress into 6th 4 out, ridden and no impression from 2 out, eased after last, last of 8, 26l behind Tranquil Sea (11-7) at Leopardstown 2m 1f chs Grd 2 (1) sft in Feb.