Lieutenant Colonel won a bumper here on his debut then finished runner-up to the exciting Vatour at Navan. He gained a facile victory over a huge field of maidens at Fairyhouse and won't go down without a fight. WICKLOW BRAVE completed a hat-trick of bumper victories before making a winning debut over timber at Cork where he looked at home in the very testing conditions. With much mote to come and a Grade 1 entry at Cheltenham he's handed the vote. Real Steel won a Cork maiden by 17l but couldn't quite cope with Mazuri Cowboy when stepped up to 2m3f at Limerick and Sunday Serenade has more to do than when beating Davinia's Tip at Tamore. Benrouge has been improving but is another with plenty to do and impressive Down Royal winner Roll It Out had an easier task at Fairyhouse yesterday.
Benrouge (IRE) 6-1 (11-12) Soon tracked leaders, closer in 2nd 2 out, gained narrow lead before last where not fluent, soon joined, stayed on well run-in to just prevail at finish, won at Cork 2m mdn hdl hvy in Jan beating Asitsohappens (11-12) by shd, 16 ran.
Real Steel (IRE) 6-4 (11-11) Led, headed entering straight, ridden in 3rd approaching 2 out, left 2nd and badly hampered, stayed on run-in, just held, 2nd of 5, nk behind Mazuri Cowboy (11-11) at Limerick 2m 3f hdl hvy in Dec.
Lieutenant Colonel Evensfav (11-10) Tracked leaders, 6th halfway, progress to dispute approaching straight and led 2 out, soon asserted and stayed on well run-in, easily,, won at Fairyhouse 2m mdn hdl in Jan beating To Choose (11-10) by 14l, 22 ran.
Roll It Out (IRE) 6-1 (11-4) Mid-division, mistake 4th, closer in 6th 4 out, 3rd 3 out, ridden to challenge 2 out, soon led, kept on well, won at Down Royal 2m mdn hdl sft in Dec beating Mister Nibbles (11-5) by 2 3/4l, 20 ran.
Wicklow Brave 2-5fav (11-10) Led early, prominent, closer in 2nd from 6 out, on terms approaching straight, soon led travelling smoothly, extended lead from before 2 out, stayed on well, easily, won at Cork 2m mdn hdl hvy in Jan beating Synchronicity (11-10) by 7l, 14 ran.
Sunday Serenade (IRE) 3-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders in 3rd, slight mistake 3rd, progress to lead 2 out and soon asserted, ridden and kept on well run-in,, won at Tramore 2m mdn hdl in Dec beating Davinia's Tip (10-8) by 4 1/2l, 12 ran.