With Paul Carberry sidelined after a fall at Clonmel on Thursday, Barry Geraghty takes over on ANGE BALAFRE, who needs holding up. Geraghty was on board when Noel Meade's charge scored at Wexford on his penultimate start and the combination will be difficult to beat. He holds The Game Changer on their run at Gowran last month but Clonard Lad, who will be tackling this trip for the first time since beaten on his hurdling debut at Galway in 2010, has been running well over further though may not quite have the pace of the selection. Gilgamboa was well supported when ploughing through the Galway mud to make a winning start in October and if the ground turns testing he should be thereabouts and though it was fast going when Military Bowl won at Bellewstown he's won on soft in France.
Ange Balafre (FR) 6-1 (11-9) Held up in rear of mid-division, headway to challenge on outer straight, led from after last, pressed and stayed on well, won at Gowran Park 2m 4yo nov hdl in Nov beating Tiger Trek (11-2) by 1/2l, 10 ran.
Clonard Lad (IRE) 9-10fav (11-12) Chased leaders, 4th halfway, headway to dispute before 4 out, soon led, challenged when slight mistake 2 out and ridden, kept on well from before last, pressed close home, won at Naas 2m 4f mdn hdl in Nov beating Riverside City (11-8) by 1/2l, 15 ran.
Gilgamboa (IRE) 4-1 (11-12) Soon prominent, 2nd for much, pushed along into straight, led from early run-in, stayed on well, won at Galway 2m 5yo mdn hdl hvy in Oct beating Afterclass (11-12) by 3l, 7 ran.
Military Bowl (USA) 7-4fav (11-12) Settled mid-division, headway before 3 out where 4th, challenged 2 out, soon ridden, kept on to lead run-in, won at Bellewstown 2m 1f 5yo mdn hdl gf in Jul beating Tisamystery (11-4) by 4l, 15 ran.
The Game Changer (IRE) 4-1 (11-9) Soon tracked leaders, close 6th approaching straight, ridden to challenge and lead before last where not fluent, soon headed and no impression, kept on same pace, 3rd of 10, 4 1/2l behind Ange Balafre (11-9) at Gowran Park 2m 4yo nov hdl in Nov.
Akatara (IRE) 16-1 (10-12) Mid-division, 15th on outer and ridden 3 out, soon no impression, 13th of 24, 23l behind Followmeuptocarlow (11-11) at Fairyhouse 2m 4f hcp hdl 80-116 in Nov.
Aonvarr (IRE) 7-2 (11-12) Led, ridden and joined 3 out, headed after next, dropped to 3rd entering straight, no impression, 3rd of 9, 11l behind Grey Monk (11-4) at Wexford 2m 2f mdn hdl sft in Nov.
Captainofthefleet (IRE) 9-4fav (11-12) Tracked leaders, went 2nd at 6th, ridden before 3 out, led before straight, pressed and headed before last, soon no impression, kept on same pace, 2nd of 14, 6l behind Ballyroe Rambler (11-4) at Fairyhouse 2m mdn hdl sft in Nov.
Catimini (IRE) 11-4 (11-0) Chased leader in 2nd and clear of remainder, closer from 5th, mistake 3 out, headway to challenge when bumped by rival next, pushed along to lead approaching last, left clear after last and kept on well run-in, won at Thurles 2m mares mdn hdl gd in Nov beating Diyala (11-4) by 6l, 9 ran.