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Formscan By Donal Murphy - This looks a very open contest and a case can be made for practically every runner. An old favourite of mine SLIEVEARDAGH gets the vote. The Edward O'Grady trained eight time winner was very disappointing on his last start at Galway but he is much better than that and he is given a chance to make amends. The son of King's Theatre has been off the track for 119 days and hopefully that break will have revitalised him. Lead Kindly Light is given second preference. The Sean Byrne trained mare won two handicap chases last season but then fell on her next start at Gowran before disappointed on her next four outings. She put in a much improved performance last time out at Navan when finishing second in a hurdle behind Misca Musca and a good run can be expected here from the daughter of Beneficial. Sumkindasuprstar is another to consider while Imperial Shabra has solid each-way claims with Ryan Treacy taking a valuable seven pounds off.
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An extended handicap steeplechase for four yrs old and upwards (145 = 11st 10lb)
Weights - An extended handicap steeplechase for four yrs old and upwards (145 = 11st 10lb)
Allowances - Top weight in the original handicap shall not be less than 11st 10lb
Riders - Winner of a steeplechase or steeplechases after calculation of the handicap shall carry any penalty or penalties which may be allotted by the Handicapper. Note Any horse rated above 145 shall initially be treated as having that rating and the highest weight allotted shall be 11st 10lb. Subsequently, the excess over 145 in any rating shall be added to the weight allotted to that horse. (For the purpose of this note, any four year old rated above 145 shall have the applicable weight for age allowance then prevailing deducted from the horse's rating prior to the original calculation of the handicap)
Probable SP 4/1 Far Away So Close, 6/1 Lastoftheleaders, Protaras, 15/2 Monastrell, 10/1 Imperial Shabra, Sumkindasuprstar, 12/1 Slieveardagh, Armaramak, Heavenly Brook, 14/1 On The Way Out, Lead Kindly Light, Peak Raider, Jack Absolute, 20/1 Senior Again.
2011 Lastoftheleaders 8 10-9 P Townend 7/2Fav (A L T Moore)