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She clearly had an off day at Gowran Park last time but, on the form of her third to Belfast Banter at Galway in October, GELEE BLANCHE will take beating here. Johngus and Stranger Danger will give her most to do. Music Therapy is an interesting newcomer.
On the face of it, COACH CARTER faces a stiff enough task on the form of his maiden win. However, the manner in which won, on what was only his second start, suggests there could be plenty more to come.
Dollys Destination likes it here and has plenty going for her, while Mitchouka comes here on the back of a good chase win off a much lower hurdles mark but ideally wants further, a sentiment also applying to Pure Genius.
Amor Verdadero was still very much in contention when a casualty two from home at Leopardstown and rates an obvious danger but perhaps it is worth taking a chance on SO NEAR SO FARHH, now back on the sort of ground she won so easily on at Punchestown. Elderado is another for whom this better ground could well signal a return to form.
Lots in with chances. Space Cadet and Amaulino were first and second in this last year and are capable of going well again. Shady Operator won a banks race last time and should stay, as should Dubai Devils and Cushinstown Finest. However, the old boy KRUZHLININ won so well at Navan last time that an extra 8lb may not stop him following up.
Quite open and a chance is taken on RUBIANA, a winner on similar ground here in October, albeit over further. Crack On Corrie has to be respected but may want it softer, while Springfield Lodge should go well off a light weight and with a talented claimer aboard. Recent Clonmel winner West Is Best may want a greater stamina test.
Having been running with distinction in similar races lately, SAINT BENEDICT can finally get his head in front. Fiston Du Mou is better than he showed last time, while Cemister is a danger with the assistance of Jamie Codd. Arctic Comet can also go well.
Though both his runs have been over hurdles, FIRE SQUADRON (NAP) was runner-up to a quality rival last time and if he can transfer that form to a bumper, will take the beating. Game And Glory was a decent third on debut here in September and will handle the ground, so is next best. Ultra Viers can improve from his run at Thurles and get involved.
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