Thunder And Roses had been threatening to win a race over hurdles for some time and finally did so when making his stamina count at Thurles. He makes his handicap debut and looks well enough treated to get involved. After an impressive victory at Fairyhouse, when Annie Oakley was beaten 25 lengths and the disappointing Andiamos pulled up, Miss Xian ran no sort of race at Leopardstown a couple of weeks later and is hardly consistent. Come To The Party won his last two races over hurdles just over a year ago but is now on a 12lb higher mark and The Bishop Looney is much better known as a chaser. EL FONTAN needs a thorough test of stamina which he's likely to get here. He's now dropped to his lowest ever mark and is handed the vote to return to winning ways.
Come To The Party (IRE) 12-1 (11-9) Prominent, ridden and lost place 8th, no extra from 6 out, pulled up 3 out, in a race won by Oscars Business (10-7) at Navan 2m 4f hcp chs 0-130 in Dec, 15 ran.
The Bishop Looney (IRE) 25-1 (10-6) Mid-division, hampered by loose horse after 5th, progress in 7th halfway, disputed 6 out, 3rd and mistake 5 out, ridden and no extra after 3 out, 7th of 16, 24l behind Make A Track (11-0) at Limerick 2m 3f hcp chs 0-145 hvy in Dec.
Thunder And Roses (IRE) 5-2 (11-12) Tracked leaders and 5th halfway, went 3rd 2 out and challenged last, kept on under pressure run-in to lead final 70 yards,, won at Thurles 2m 6f mdn hdl sft in Dec beating Oscar Fiain (11-4) by 1l, 18 ran.
Owennacurra Milan (IRE) 12-1 (10-13) Towards rear, in touch but pushed along in 8th 2 out, no extra approaching last, last of 9, 25l behind Dysios (11-2) at Leopardstown 2m hdl sft in Dec.
Miss Xian (IRE) 7-1 (10-2) Towards rear and never a factor, detached 3 out and no extra, tailed off, last of 21, well behind Courage (10-1) at Leopardstown 3m hcp hdl sft in Dec.
A Fine Young Man (IRE) 16-1 (11-4) Chased leaders early, soon mid-division, progress into 3rd 3 out, challenged entering straight, ridden in 2nd 2 out, no extra run-in, kept on one pace, 4th of 16, 6l behind Pumbaa (11-0) at Limerick 2m 4f hcp hdl 80-116 hvy in Dec.
Boland's Corner (GER) 33-1 (11-7) Chased leader, 3rd halfway, ridden and weakened before 5 out, 12th of 15, well behind Courtncatcher (11-6) at Bellewstown 3m hcp hdl 80-116 gd in Aug.
Annie Oakley (IRE) 4-1 (11-6) Soon chased leaders, moderate 6th approaching straight, soon no extra,, 6th of 14, 36l behind Carrow Queen (9-10) at Limerick 3m hcp hdl 80-116 hvy in Dec.
El Fontan (FR) 25-1 (9-3) Towards rear, progress into mid-division halfway, closer 2 out, ridden and no impression in 6th before last, no extra run-in, 6th of 21, 19l behind Courage (10-1) at Leopardstown 3m hcp hdl sft in Dec.
Tarquinius (FR) 20-1 (10-6) Held up behind, blundered 10th, mistake next, outpaced 5 out, never dangerous, tailed off, 7th of 9, well behind Hey Big Spender (11-4) at Newcastle 3m listed hcp chs (1) gd in Nov.
Andiamos (IRE) 6-1 (11-12) Towards rear, mistake 7th, soon no danger and pulled up after 3 out,, in a race won by Day Dream Boy (11-5) at Limerick 2m 5f hcp hdl 80-102 hvy in Dec, 18 ran.