Merchant Royal won this a year ago for Dermot Weld but hasn't been in the same kind of form for new connections. The veteran Freneys Well is very useful at this level though he prefers quicker ground than he'll face here while Goonyella had his path cleared when his rivals had mishaps at Limerick though he had been travelling well throughout and probably would have won anyway. He's only a youngster and with more to give he's a big threat to all but the experience of OSCAR DELTA may be too much for him. Jimmy Mangan's charge finished third in the Foxhunter at Cheltenham in March before beating On The Fringe at Fairyhouse. Last month's point-to-point success will have put him straight and this looks within his capabilities.
Merchant Royal (IRE) 14-1 (12-0) Chased leaders, pushed along approaching straight, 5th 2 out and no impression in 4th before last, kept on one pace, 3rd of 17, 13l behind Tammys Hill (11-7) at Down Royal 2m 7f hts chs hvy in Dec.
Carsonstown Boy (IRE) 14-1 (11-4) Tracked leaders, 5th halfway, driven along approaching straight and soon no extra, moderate 8th when blundered last, 8th of 17, 31l behind Tammys Hill (11-7) at Down Royal 2m 7f hts chs hvy in Dec.
Freneys Well 5-1 (12-3) Always prominent, 3rd 5 out, ridden and no impression when left in front after last, kept on under pressure run-in, won at Punchestown 3m crs cntry chs (5yo+) fm in May '11 beating Zest For Life (11-12) by 1 3/4l, 14 ran.
Goonyella (IRE) 11-2 (11-7) Waited with towards rear, good headway to track leaders from 3 out, challenged and on terms when left in front and in command from 2 out, stayed on well, won at Limerick 2m 6f hts chs hvy in Dec beating Survival (11-7) by dis, 16 ran.
Long Strand (IRE) 8-1 (11-4) Mid div, prog in 3rd 6out, ld 3out, hdd 2out, sn ld again & 3l adv gng best last where mstk, so, won at Aghabullogue 3m ire ptp sft beating Some Present (12-0) by 5l, 8 ran.
Oscar Delta (IRE) 3-1 (11-4) Chsd ldrs, 4th 1/2way, 2nd well aftr 3out, ld bef 2out & alw gng best aftr, sow, won at Ballindenisk 3m ire ptp hvy in Dec beating Boxing Along (12-0) by 4l, 7 ran.
Viking Splash (IRE) 8-1 (11-8) Prominent and tracked leader in 2nd, driven along 5 out and weakened after next, behind when pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Tammys Hill (11-7) at Down Royal 2m 7f hts chs hvy in Dec, 17 ran.
Equus Maximus (IRE) 9-2 (12-0) Led, headed 5 out, 5th 4 out, ridden entering straight, under pressure in 4th 2 out, kept on one pace, 5th of 12, 20l behind On The Fringe (12-0) at Punchestown 3m 1f hts chs in May.
Foreverpresenting (IRE) 7-1 (12-0) Mid div, not qckn aftr 3out, sn bhnd, pu bef last, in a race won by Goonyella (11-4) at Loughanmore 3m ire ptp hvy in Dec, 13 ran.
Highly Unlikely (IRE) 5-2 (12-0) Alw pr, cl 2nd 3out, not qckn 2out, ko onepce, 4th of 8, 8l behind General Maccreevy (12-0) at Kirkistown 3m ire ptp sft in Nov.
Johnnyofcourse (IRE) 6-1 (12-0) A bit awkward 1st, waited with, progress from before 7 out, tracked leaders from 3 out, no extra 2 out where mistake, hampered and pulled up last, in a race won by Goonyella (11-7) at Limerick 2m 6f hts chs hvy in Dec, 16 ran.
Mr Shankly (IRE) 3-1 (12-0) Mid-div, prog 4out, 2nd app str, ld last, kow run-in, won at Tattersalls Farm 3m ire ptp hvy in Dec beating Robyn Rua (12-0) by 6l, 17 ran.
Pocketfullapennies (IRE) 14-1 (12-0) Waited with, towards rear when fell 7 out, in a race won by Goonyella (11-7) at Limerick 2m 6f hts chs hvy in Dec, 16 ran.
Some Present (IRE) 4-6 (12-0) Chsd ldrs, 3rd aftr a mile, 4th from 10th, prog in 2nd 3out, ld 2out, sn hdd & no ex in 2nd when mstk last, 2nd of 8, 5l behind Long Strand (11-4) at Aghabullogue 3m ire ptp sft.