The very useful hurdler Alderwood was having his third start over fences when beating Prima Vista on heavy ground at Navan after which his trainer said he wouldn't want to run him on such going again. Today's conditions are unlikely to be any better and he's passed over in favour of COOLE RIVER. Formerly a very useful hurdler with Jessica Harrington, he's had a couple of runs over fences for Emma Lavelle and looks well handicapped if able to transfer his hurdling form to fences. Lambro won at last year's Festival here and though not seen subsequently he's no doubt warming up for Cheltenham and should be nearing his peak. Far Away So Close and Lead Kindly Light are closely matched and both can get into the argument while Pires is a very consistent performer in all types of races and can never be left out of calculations. Fosters Cross is held by Pires on their run at Cork in October but Beeverstown could go well at a big price despite having failed to finish in three of his last four starts.
Lambro (IRE) 1-2fav (11-12) Tracked leader in 2nd, disputed lead 4 out and led before 2 out, asserted before last where mistake, stayed on well run-in, easily, won at Punchestown 2m 2f chs sft in May beating Slieveardagh (11-12) by 10l, 4 ran.
Quiscover Fontaine (FR) 4-1fav (11-2) Tracked leaders, 3rd halfway, driven along in 4th 2 out, headway to challenge in straight and disputed briefly last, no extra early run-in and weakened, 6th of 16, 4 1/2l behind Supreme Carolina (10-13) at Leopardstown 2m hdl sft in Dec.
Fosters Cross (IRE) 13-2 (11-5) Led, jumped left 1st, soon well clear, tired and reduced advantage approaching last, soon headed and kept on same pace in 3rd, 3rd of 5, 2 1/2l behind Blackstairmountain (11-5) at Cork 2m hdl in Jan.
Lastoftheleaders (IRE) 16-1 (11-10) Held up, 11th 2 out, 6th and staying on when slight mistake last, no extra, 6th of 16, 8l behind Jacksonslady (10-13) at Leopardstown 2m 1f hcp chs sft in Dec.
Alderwood (IRE) 8-11fav (11-12) Chased leaders, 4th halfway, ridden to challenge before last, kept on well run-in to lead closing stages (poor visibility), won at Navan 2m 1f beg chase hvy in Jan beating Prima Vista (11-12) by 1 1/2l, 10 ran.
Pires 6-1 (11-2) Rear of mid-division, 7th 3 out, headway approaching last and every chance early run-in, no extra under pressure in 3rd closing stages, 3rd of 16, 1 1/2l behind Supreme Carolina (10-13) at Leopardstown 2m hdl sft in Dec.
Far Away So Close (IRE) 5-1 (11-6) Soon prominent, led approaching 6th, pressed straight and headed 2 out, no impression when hit last, kept on same pace run-in, 3rd of 5, 9l behind Argocat (10-9) at Limerick 2m 3f nov chs Grade 2 (1) hvy in Dec.
Lead Kindly Light (IRE) 10-1 (11-10) Rear of mid-division, pogress entering straight, 4th and ridden 2 out, no extra, 5th of 13, 13l behind Beneficial Spirit (10-3) at Naas 2m hcp chs 0-130 in Jan.
Coole River (IRE) 3-1fav (11-10) Led, headed before 5th, tracked leader, led again before 11th, headed approaching 3 out, soon no chance with winner, left 2nd when mistake and hampered next, weakened before last, 3rd of 8, 41l behind Rajdhani Express (11-6) at Kempton 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-130 (3) hvy in Dec.
Beeverstown (IRE) 10-1 (11-8) Leading when ducked away from tape and unseated rider at start, in a race won by Marito (11-8) at Naas 2m nov chs in Jan, 7 ran.
Ballyburke (IRE) 12-1 (10-6) Waited with, went moderate 4th before straight, no impression under pressure and kept on same pace from before 2 out, 7th of 13, 23l behind Jack Absolute (11-0) at Limerick 2m 3f hcp chs 0-145 hvy in Dec.