Another fine contest in prospect and Willie Mullins has chosen this exalted level for the chasing debut of Dare To Doubt, a very useful hurdler at her best who won a Grade 2 novice hurdle last February. She's obviously one to keep an eye on but faces a stiff task here against strong opposition with chasing experience. Knockfierna is undoubtedly the form pick on her victory in a Cork Grade 3 last month and though beaten by Golden Sunbird at Limerick earlier she has comfortable reversed that form since and also holds Our Victoria on that Cork run. Banjaxed Girl had the highest hurdle rating of any of these and didn't do much wrong on her chasing debut at Fairyhouse but Belle Brook will need to improve again after beating Special Token at Cork. ASKANNA progressed nicely over timber but it was her superb jumping that won the day when she made a winning start over fences at Limerick last month and she's given the vote to follow up before going on to better things.
Knockfierna (IRE) 5-2 (11-2) Waited with behind leaders, a bit slow in jumping more than once, closed up to lead before straight, strongly pressed but every chance when ran out 2 out, in a race won by Sir Des Champs (11-6) at Limerick 2m 3f nov chs Grade 2 (1) hvy in Dec, 4 ran.
Askanna (IRE) 4-5fav (11-2) Led and disputed, jumped well, headed before 2 out, back in front between last 2, stayed on well run-in, reduced lead close home, won at Limerick 2m 3f beg chs hvy in Dec beating False Messenger (11-0) by 1/2l, 8 ran.
Avondhu Lady (IRE) 8-1 (11-7) Chased leaders, no extra approaching straight, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Askanna (11-2) at Limerick 2m 3f beg chs hvy in Dec, 8 ran.
Banjaxed Girl 3-1fav (11-5) Prominent and led from before 2nd, strongly pressed and headed 2 out, soon driven along in 3rd, kept on same pace under pressure run-in, 4th of 5, 1l behind Frisco Depot (11-12) at Fairyhouse 2m 5f beg chase sft.
Belle Brook (IRE) 5-1 (11-7) Raced mainly in 2nd, ridden to challenge and on terms approaching 2 out, soon headed and no impression, left in lead from last, pressed and stayed on well under pressure, all out, won at Cork 2m 4f mrs beg chs hvy beating Special Token (11-7) by hd, 9 ran.
Dare To Doubt 12-1 (11-1) Held up in rear, in touch 2 out, no extra in 5th approaching last, eased when beaten run-in, 5th of 6, 35l behind Voler La Vedette (11-3) at Leopardstown 3m hdl G2 (1) gd in Dec.
Golden Sunbird (IRE) 9-2 (11-5) Tracked leader in 2nd, led after 3rd, headed 3 out, ridden and no extra in 3rd approaching last, kept on one pace under pressure, 4th of 9, 10l behind Our Girl Salley (11-5) at Leopardstown 2m 4f hdl G3 (1) gd in Dec.
Lead Kindly Light (IRE) 8-1 (11-5) Soon tracked leaders, 2nd approaching 2 out where dropped to 3rd and no impression, kept on same pace, 4th of 14, 15l behind Beckwith Star (11-12) at Tramore 2m beg chase hvy.
Our Victoria (IRE) 6-1 (10-11) Prominent in chasing group, not fluent 3rd, closed from before 4 out, ridden before straight, no impression under pressure and kept on same pace from 2 out, 3rd of 6, 11l behind Knockfierna (10-11) at Cork 2m 1f mares nov chs Grade 3 (1) in Dec.