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It may not carry the clout it had when the likes of Arkle (1964) and Flyingbolt (1966) were winning it, but today's £50,000 Cuisine de France Thyestes Chase presents another fascinating puzzle for punters.

Most of the fascination this time centres around the giant but vulnerable frame of Sydney Twothousand, who could be thrown in here at the weights considering he is a Grade One winner from last April's Punchestown festival and an entry in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

The puzzle though revolves around that Tripleprint success coming at two miles compared to today's three, Sydney Twothousand's injury problems since and the presence of another Noel Meade-trained runner in Native Estates, who holds a perfectly reasonable book chance.

Meade's stable jockey Paul Carberry has elected to plunge with the unknown quantity, leaving last year's winning rider Norman Williamson on Native Estates. His judgment can only have been helped by Meade's view that the longer trip should not be a problem, an understandable view considering the Gold Cup entry.

'When he won his novice chase over two miles and five (November 1988) we thought three miles was his trip, but he didn't have the best of luck afterwards. He had a problem with a nerve in his back but we think he's fully right now,' Meade said yesterday.

The Co Meath trainer was not playing down Native Estates' credentials either, despite an unimpressive Thurles victory last time and a hike in the weights with Boss Doyle's defection.

'He's in good shape and has a big chance. He jumped a little slow at Thurles but that was probably because of the small race he was in. He should be better in this race and although he's not very big, he's in good shape,' Meade added.

All of which is not to suggest this will just be a Meade show. Bob Treacy won with 12st last year, while Fiddlers Tune is also sure to run a big race after his second to Buck Rogers in the Leopardstown Chase.

Of the light weights, Market Lass could be best, while Micko's Dream is sure to have improved for his effort in the Paddy Power Chase.

Native Estates is now 8lb better for that, has a big race rider on his back and his fitness is assured. That looks to make him a better value bet than his classy but delicate stable companion.

Charlie Swan is on the Thurles and Tramore winner Why Bother in the handicap hurdle and that one's chance has to be respected.