Willie Mullins won last year's renewal of this Grade 1 contest and will fancy his chances of landing the spoils again as both BOSTON BOB and On His Own arrive off the back of impressive performances at the highest level and will be prominent in the betting. Preference is for Ruby Walsh's mount after he returned to his best with victory in the Melling Chase at Aintree. He's always been held in high regard and should be followed now finally starting to fulfil his potential. He ran over a shorter trip at Cheltenham and never really figured but On His Own carried the Wylie colours with distinction in the Gold Cup, only going down by a short-head to Lord Windermere in a blanket finish. He'd won his previous two starts at Gowran and Fairyhouse and is much improved. First Lieutenant usually runs well in this grade but doesn't win as often as he should and Long Run may not be the force of old. The novice Morning Assembly may be biting off more than he can chew at this stage of his career while Lyreen Legend looks held by a couple of these on last season's form. Argocat finished ahead of First Lieutenant at Aintree but needs to reproduce that form on a consistent basis.
Argocat (IRE) 25-1 (11-7) Held up in last, not fluent 14th, pushed along to chase leaders 4 out, hard ridden after 2 out, went 3rd last, stayed on same pace, unable to quite challenge, 3rd of 6, 3l behind Silviniaco Conti (11-7) at Aintree 3m 1f chs G1 (1) gd.
Boston Bob (IRE) 5-1 (11-10) Held up behind, not fluent 8th, pushed along 4 out, headway after 2 out, effort and stayed on to challenge on inside when not fluent last, ridden and ran on well to lead final 50 yards, won at Aintree 2m 4f chs G1 (1) gd beating Rolling Aces (11-10) by 3 1/2l, 10 ran.
First Lieutenant (IRE) 10-3 (11-7) Prominent, led after 4 out, headed and ridden 3 out, hung right approaching last, soon 4th and beaten, one pace, 4th of 6, 4l behind Silviniaco Conti (11-7) at Aintree 3m 1f chs G1 (1) gd.
Foildubh (IRE) 16-1 (11-10) Raced in rear, went moderate 3rd after 5 out, hit 2 out, soon ridden and no impression, kept on same pace,, 3rd of 5, 21l behind Arvika Ligeonniere (11-12) at Fairyhouse 2m 1f chs Grd 2 (1) sft.
Long Run (FR) 12-1 (11-9) With leader until fell 9th (valentines), in a race won by Pineau De Re (10-6) at Aintree 4m 3f (1) gs, 40 ran.
Lyreen Legend (IRE) 33-1 (11-10) Tracked leaders, headway to join leaders 3 out, every chance on inside when blundered next, soon ridden, one pace flat, 6th of 13, 7l behind Lord Windermere (11-10) at Cheltenham 3m 2f chs G1 (1) gd in Mar.
Medermit (FR) 20-1 (11-10) Towards rear, hit 6th, ridden after 11th, well beaten before 3 out, 8th of 11, 24l behind Dynaste (11-10) at Cheltenham 2m 5f Grade 1 chs (1) gd in Mar.
Morning Assembly (IRE) 9-1 (11-4) Mid-division in touch on inside, headway 4 out, effort next, outpaced 2 out, ridden and kept on to take 3rd flat, no impression with front pair, 3rd of 15, 6l behind O'Faolains Boy (11-4) at Cheltenham 3m nov chs G1 (1) gd in Mar.
Noble Prince (GER) 3-1 (11-2) Chased leaders, closer in 3rd from 9th, lost place briefly 5 out, challenged from before 3 out where gained narrow lead, attempted to assert before next, joined at last, stayed on well on far side rail run-in, headed near line, 2nd of 6, 1/2l behind Toner D'Oudairies (11-8) at Cork 3m chs Grade 3 (1).
On His Own (IRE) 16-1 (11-10) Tracked leaders, led after 3rd, headed narrowly 4 out, driven next, outpaced when went right and bumped 2 out, rallied flat, stayed on and every chance when carried right towards finish, just held, 2nd of 13, shd behind Lord Windermere (11-10) at Cheltenham 3m 2f chs G1 (1) gd in Mar.