Capuccimix shaped promisingly when runner-up on his chase debut at Navan in November before unseating his rider at the first at Leopardstown next time out. He got back on track when again finding only one too good in stronger company at Gowran Park last time, though, and this looks a good opportunity for him to open his account in this sphere.
Gallant John Joe is already a better chaser than hurdler and he proved as much when a good third to Notebook in the Irish Arkle at Leopardstown last month. On his chasing debut he had pushed dual Champion Hurdle runner-up Melon close, and he is clearly a useful performer in this sphere. He sets the clear standard here and should prove difficult to beat.
Castle Oliver completed the hat-trick in most impressive fashion at this venue last month, showing a great deal of strength at the finish. He is a most progressive chaser and, though this is another tough assignment, further improvement is anticipated and he has a big chance of gaining his fourth successive victory.
A smart bumper winner, Beacon Edge got off the mark over hurdles at the first attempt back in October and probably would have followed up in a Grade 2 here last month had he got away from the last a bit more cleanly. He should strip fitter for that outing and remains open to further improvement, so looks set for another big run here.
The Very Man has been running creditably this season whilst crying out for this step up in trip. He sets a good standard in this field and looks the one to beat with this stiffer test likely to show him in a better light. Useful Flat winner Kaatskill Nap has shown aptitude for hurdling for Willie Mullins and is an interesting contender for his powerful yard after 17 months off.
Court Maid bounced back to form down in trip at Fairyhouse last month, catching the eye with some good late work to edge third, and she is worth siding with to reverse the form with the re-opposing Ificudiwud, who must shoulder a 7 lb rise for that win.
Castra Vetera made a promising start to her career when getting off the mark at the first time of asking at Fairyhouse in December. She struggled when pitched into Grade 2 company at Leopardstown last month, finishing eighth of 11, but she remains with plenty of promise and this looks a good opportunity for her to get back on track.