INIS MEAIN, a Listed race winner in May and twice runner-up at that level on testing ground on the Flat later in the year, has gone up 2lb for finishing third behind Jetson at Punchestown but still looks capable of winning this. Annie Oakley is another who relishes heavy going as she showed when beating Thunder And Roses at Punchestown so she has to be a threat as though she was a long way behind Miss Xian at Fairyhouse in December she easily reversed the form last time. Hold Em Cowboy beat a huge field over 2m4f on this track the last time he ran over hurdles and has shown himself in excellent form over fences so is another for the shortlist. Malt Gem was due to run at Gowran yesterday.
Inis Meain (USA) 10-1 (9-10) Held up towards rear, ridden in 10th 2 out, stayed on in 5th when slight mistake last, kept on run-in to 3rd close home, 3rd of 16, 3l behind Jetson (10-5) at Punchestown 3m hcp hdl hvy.
The Bishop Looney (IRE) 8-1 (9-10) Chased leaders, 4th halfway, fell 5 out, in a race won by Folsom Blue (10-1) at Punchestown 3m 4f Handicap Chase (Grade C) (5yo+) hvy, 18 ran.
Miss Xian (IRE) 6-1 (10-12) Mid-division early, towards rear halfway, ridden and no impression 3 out, weakened, last of 11, 50l behind Annie Oakley (10-4) at Punchestown 3m hcp hdl in Jan.
Annie Oakley (IRE) 6-1 (10-4) Held up towards rear, ridden in 7th 3 out, under pressure in 5th entering straight, ran on strongly run-in to lead last strides, won at Punchestown 3m hcp hdl in Jan beating Thunder And Roses (11-0) by hd, 11 ran.
Malt Gem (IRE) 5-1 (11-3) Mid-division, 5th halfway, progress into 3rd when mistake and unseated rider 3 out, in a race won by Off The Charts (10-11) at Thurles 2m 6f Handicap Hurdle (80-123) (4yo+) in Jan, 11 ran.
Boland's Corner (GER) 33-1 (10-4) Soon mid-division, towards rear halfway, ridden before 4 out, under pressure in 8th 3 out, kept on one pace, 6th of 11, 15l behind Annie Oakley (10-4) at Punchestown 3m hcp hdl in Jan.
Hold Em Cowboy (IRE) 3-1fav (11-12) Rear of mid-division, some progress when mistake 5 out, chased leaders straight, moderate 4th 2 out, soon no impression, kept on one pace, 3rd of 18, 24l behind Witness Of Fashion (10-7) at Fairyhouse 2m 5f hcp chs 0-109 hvy.
St Maxime (IRE) 20-1 (10-8) Soon chased leaders, moderate 4th into straight, soon no extra,, 5th of 14, 23l behind Carrow Queen (9-10) at Limerick 3m hcp hdl 80-116 hvy in Dec.
Kostar (FR) 25-1 (9-12) Towards rear, ridden 3 out, kept on one pace straight, 7th of 13, 30l behind Zabana (10-12) at Leopardstown 2m 4f hcp hdl sft in Jan.
Vincent Row (IRE) 11-2 (9-4) Towards rear, 10th halfway, pushed along and no impression entering straight, 8th of 11, 19l behind Off The Charts (10-11) at Thurles 2m 6f Handicap Hurdle (80-123) (4yo+) in Jan.