Willie Mullins has won this for the past two seasons and is double handed this time with BLAZING TEMPO and Sweet My Lord. The former, who won the 2011 Galway Plate, has been alternating between hurdles and fences and will have found 2m over timber much too short at Cork last time. He should be too strong for his stablemate and for Tranquil Sea, who hasn't been at his best in his two runs so far this season but has a Grade 1 to his credit amongst his eight victories over fences. Roi Du Mee has won a Grade 3 and a Listed event already this term and completed a hat-trick over hurdles at Navan though he has to concede weight all round and that may prove beyond him.
Roi Du Mee (FR) 2-1fav (9-13) Always prominent, led 3 out, ridden from next where slight nod on landing, went clear before last, stayed on well run-in, won at Navan 2m 7f hcp hdl hvy in Dec beating Colbert Station (10-3) by 10l, 19 ran.
Ordinary Man (IRE) 7-1 (11-7) Waited with, keen hold and prominent from 8th, still in touch but a bit to do to get to winner when fell heavily 4 out, in a race won by Roi Du Mee (11-10) at Thurles 2m 6f lst chs (1) in Nov, 5 ran.
Tranquil Sea (IRE) 9-1 (11-7) Mid-division, not fluent 4th (water), headway 11th, no chance with front pair after 3 out, 3rd of 9, 21l behind Little Josh (10-9) at Aintree 2m 5f hcp chs (2) hvy in Dec.
Blazing Tempo (IRE) 11-8fav (11-3) Chased leaders, 3rd halfway, improved to lead before 3 out, ridden and headed before 2 out, under pressure in 4th 2 out, kept on one pace to 3rd run-in, 3rd of 7, 11l behind Days Hotel (11-10) at Cork 2m chs Grd 2 (1) sft in Dec.
Berties Dream (IRE) 11-4fav (11-6) Tracked leaders in 3rd, 2nd from 9th, dropped to 5th and pushed along 4 out, left 4th next, no impression approaching last, went moderate 3rd close home, 3rd of 6, 10l behind Forpadydeplasterer (11-10) at Thurles 3m chs hvy in Nov.
Sweet My Lord (FR) 6-1 (11-10) Tracked leaders in 5th, 4th 4 out, 3rd and appeared to be travelling best after 3 out, not fluent 2 out, soon no extra under pressure, 4th of 11, 8l behind Bishopsfurze (11-0) at Thurles 2m 6f hdl in Nov.