This looks destined for across the Irish Sea with four leading contenders battling for the prize. Their dominant quartet is headed by the in-form Lisbon, a progressive sort but upped 14lb for a recent course win. He seems sure to go well again but HOWWOULDUNO has already shaped far better over hurdles than on the level, scoring twice at Down Royal and Hexham in novice company. He receives weight all round on this handicap bow with Graham Watters, successful on the gelding last time, taking off a valuable further 7lb. Toye Native is a major threat having overcome a lengthy absence to score impressively on his Down Royal return and Denis O' Regan is an excellent booking. He'll go very well if not 'bouncing.' The Ice Factor was beaten 10l by Lisbon when the pair last clashed but things should be much closer now as the former enjoys a 12lb pull in the weights on his first outing after plenty of time off too.
Lisbon (IRE) 11-4fav (11-6) Tracked leading pair, went 2nd 3 out, led before 2 out, clear between last 2, easily, won at Perth 2m hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gf beating The Ice Factor (11-9) by 10l, 8 ran.
Toye Native (IRE) 10-1 (11-3) Soon chased leaders, in pursuit of clear leader 2 out, left with opportunity from last and stayed on well to lead closing stages, won at Down Royal 2m hdl gf in Jun beating Twin Plan (11-7) by 1 1/4l, 10 ran.
Unknown Rebel (IRE) 16-1 (11-4) Always towards rear, 5th of 10, 21l behind Mwaleshi (10-11) at Wetherby 2m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) sft in Dec.
The Ice Factor 22-1 (11-9) Tracked leaders in 5th, headway to 3rd approaching 2 out, went 2nd 2 out, never any chance with easy winner, 2nd of 8, 10l behind Lisbon (11-6) at Perth 2m hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gf.
Super Collider 8-1 (11-9) Tracked leaders and keen, pushed along and weakened after 3 out, last of 4, 29l behind Mighty Snazy (10-12) at Market Rasen 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) gd.
Outrageous Request 4-1 (11-5) Led and raced keenly, ridden and headed before 2 out, weakened quickly soon after, tailed off when hampered last, 6th of 8, well behind Lisbon (11-6) at Perth 2m hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gf.
Howwoulduno (IRE) 11-4 (10-12) Tracked leaders, ridden to lead before last, soon pressed, kept on well under pressure towards finish, won at Hexham 2m nh nov hdl (4) gd in Jun beating Symphonick (10-12) by 1 1/4l, 11 ran.