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Formscan By Eamonn Murphy - Of course you'd like to see him prove strong in the betting and if that's the case SENSATIONAL SEMA is the one here. Connections of this fellow have had to be patient and he eventually made his seasonal bow at Punchestown at the end of last month. In my book it was somewhat surprising that he headed the market that day but Ruby Walsh's presence in the plate may have contributed to that. For anyone that backed him into 100/30 favouritism, the effort of the Witness Box gelding to be third then, may have been underwhelming, but for anyone waiting to back him another day, the performance to be close up behind the winner, Mr Goodenough, was more than satisfactory. A point-to-point and a hurdle winner in his time, Sensational Sema has a grand pedigree and it seems a matter of when, and not if, he begins a winning run over the larger obstacles. Saigheada Beaga (from a good family) is an interesting handicap first-timer and the dual point-to-point winner would enter the equation if the betting gives positive signals. As the only last time out winner in the field, Saoirse Dun is entitled to a degree of respect too. If first reserve, Big Jemmy were to get a run, he'd have a chance, though connections have always maintained that he wants better ground.
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An extended handicap steeplechase for four yrs old and upwards rated 0-109
Weights - An extended handicap steeplechase for four yrs old and upwards rated 0-109
Riders - Winner of a steeplechase after calculation of the handicap to carry 4lb extra for each such steeplechase won.
Probable SP 7/2 Sensational Sema, 4/1 Saoirse Dun, 13/2 Annacarton, 10/1 The Shoe Doctor, Jolily, Amber Knight, 12/1 Ponmeword, 14/1 Spot The Boss, King Of Ardcarne, Valley Of Thrushes, Under The Spell, Offside Rule, 16/1 Mattara, High Way Hunter, Shellys Creek, 20/1 Saigheada Beaga, Flying Windsor, 25/1 Others.
2011 Miss Pepperpot 7 11-6 B T O'Connell 7/2 (F Flood)
2010 Indifference Curve 8 11-7 Mr M J O'Connor 12/1 (Michael John O'Connor)
2008 Kilbane River 7 11-3 T P Treacy 12/1 (Joseph Quinn)
2007 Rusty Red 4 10-10 D N Russell 6/1 (Joseph Crowley)
2006 Dosco 7 11-3 C D Maxwell 4/1 (D T Hughes)