A very good prize has attracted a quality line-up and could develop into a tremendous battle as it did last year between CAPTAIN CEE BEE and The Real Article. The former, obviously much better known as a chaser, won by a short-head on that occasion when in receipt of 4lb. He showed himself in top form by scoring on the Flat at the Curragh three weeks ago and is just handed the vote over his great rival, who had today's rival Luska Lad 8l behind when beating him in a Grade 2 here in October. Bahrain Storm may find the ground too testing but Rebel Fitz is a very progressive novice who has been competing at a high level and was runner-up in a Grade 2 at Navan in November.
The Real Article (IRE) 25-1 (11-12) Chased leaders in 3rd, not fluent and dropped to 4th 3 out, no extra after next and eased when beaten run-in, last of 4, 46l behind Hurricane Fly (11-12) at Punchestown 2m hdl G1 (1) hvy in Apr.
Bahrain Storm (IRE) 7-1 (10-0) Mid-division early, 7th halfway, 8th 6 out, mistake and unseated rider next, in a race won by Blazing Tempo (10-4) at Galway 2m 6f hcp chs gd in Jul '11, 22 ran.
Captain Cee Bee (IRE) 8-1 (11-12) Held up in last, slight mistakes 4th and 7th, lost touch from 3 out, 5th of 6, 32l behind Sizing Europe (11-12) at Punchestown 2m chs G1 (1) gs in Apr.
Luska Lad (IRE) 11-2 (11-8) Disputed lead, narrow leader from 4th, joined again 3 out, ridden and headed straight, 3rd 2 out, soon no impression, 3rd of 4, 21l behind Mikael D'Haguenet (11-3) at Naas 2m 3f Grade 3 Hurdle (5yo+) (1) in Jan.
Rebel Fitz (FR) 10-1 (11-10) Tracked leader in 2nd, challenged on inner entering straight, close 4th last, no extra run-in, 4th of 8, 6l behind Dedigout (11-10) at Punchestown 2m 4f nov hdl Grade 1 (1) hvy in Apr.
Burrenbridge Lodge (IRE) 12-1 (11-3) Settled towards rear on inner, headway 3 out and 4th briefly next, soon no extra, 8th of 15, 18l behind Golanbrook (11-2) at Gowran Park 2m hcp hdl hvy in Jun.
One Cool Shabra (IRE) 33-1 (10-4) Prominent, disputed lead from 3 out, led next, soon strongly pressed, headed entering straight, no extra in 3rd when not fluent at last, 4th of 25, 17l behind Snap Tie (11-9) at Punchestown 2m hcp hdl gs in Apr.