IN SUMMARY: Willie Mullins won this last year with Douvan and should do for the second year in a row with MIN. This exciting young horse has only been beaten once in his career by the brilliant Altior with a number of top class horses behind, he should win this head in chest before a possible tilt at the Champion Chase. Ball D’Arc represents the only real opposition but is not in the same league as his rival.
1 BALL D’ARC – A classy horse who has won five of his fifteen starts over fences and only been out of the frame twice. He is very useful and won a Grade 3 at Naas time in great style but has fallen short so far of what is required to be winning at Grade 1 level, he is sure to run his usual lovely race however.
2 MIN – Has raced six times for Willie Mullins and has been beaten only once behind Altior with subsequent Champion Hurdler behind in third. He showed his wellbeing and nothing more when winning by a distance on his reappearance and he is a more than capable substitute for the absent Douvan, could be top top class and very difficult to beat.
3 ORDINARY WORLD – A useful horse in his own right who was third in the Arkle at the Cheltenham Festival last season. He was destroyed by today’s rival Min in a Grade 1 on this card last year and looks to have very little chance of turning that form around however.
4 SIMPLY NED – A lovely horse who has won four of his twenty-five runs and placed in a further twelve. He was well beaten by the excellent Fox Norton last time in the Shloer Chase and is a few pounds short of what should be required here but will run his race.
5 TELL US MORE – The lowest rated horse in the field at 147 but not far off a couple of the others and a decent chaser nonetheless. He is not Grade 1 class and it’d be very disappointing if he was good enough to win but he may beat a couple of these home.
6 WOODLAND OPERA – A good horse but one with a rating of only 150 so has at least ten pounds to find with the less exposed Min. He put up a gutsy performance when getting the better of Tombstone last time in the Craddockstown latest but this is much much harder.