Spyglass Hill was a fairly useful winning hurdler before making the switch to chasing, and though he struggled to make much of an impact on his first outing over fences, he did shape with much more promise when runner-up on his second attempt over the larger obstacles here last month.
Stepped back up in trip for a Grade 3, Henry de Bromhead’s charge was in the process of showing much improved form when departing late on. The race was still in the balance between himself and Willie Mullins’ Carefully Selected – who is as yet unbeaten over fences – when he came down at the second last.
Provided he is none the worse for that fall, he looks to be in with an excellent chance of opening his chase account here.
Real Steel showed improved form on his first foray into handicaps when opening his account in that sphere at the first attempt last May, before making an impressive return to action when a ready winner at Down Royal in November.
He ran creditably when fourth in the John Durkan Punchestown Chase on his first crack at a Grade 1 and proved at least as good as ever when resuming winning ways in decisive style in a Grade 2 at Thurles last month.
He holds entries in both the Ryanair and the Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival next month and should be capable of sweeping aside these rivals on his way to bigger and better things.
Rebel Early opened her account over hurdles at the fourth time of asking last season and, though she has been slightly inconsistent this term, she produced her best effort to date to resume winning ways over this course and distance last time.
A modest pace meant that it wasn’t the test it might have been, but Rebel Early nonetheless deserves plenty of credit for displaying a most willing attitude and pulling nicely clear with the runner-up. She clearly arrives here at the top of her game, and with conditional jockey Barry Browne’s 7lb claim offsetting her rise in the weights, she looks primed for another big run.