Thursday, 25th January
1. CHAMPAGNE WEST (Henry de Bromhead, Ireland/D. Robinson (5))
High-class chaser at best who won listed event at Tramore and this race (by 7½ lengths from Ucello Conti) in 2016/17. Well below form when well-beaten third of 4 to Bachasson in listed event at Tramore last time and needs to bounce back from mark 5 lb higher than 12 months ago.
2. A GENIE IN ABOTTLE (Noel Meade, Ireland/Sean Flanagan)
Won minor event at Galway and listed event at Wexford (by 1½ lengths from Tiger Roll) in October, butwell below form in 20-runner Ladbrokes Trophy Chase at Newbury last time. Should stay long distances and return to testing ground in his favour, so not discounted.
3. UCELLO CONTI (Gordon Elliott, Ireland/Liam McKenna)
Runner-up in this race 12 months ago, but best effort when 7 lengths second of 28 to Anibale Fly in Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown last time, keeping on well. Higher mark to contend with here, though.
4. PLEASANT COMPANY (W. P. Mullins, Ireland/Paul Townend)
Won Pat Taaffe Handicap Chase at Punchestown and Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse (by ½ length from Thunder And Roses) in 2016/17, when also fourth in this race. Below form when 35¼ lengths fourteenth of 28 to Anibale Fly in Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown last time, but should come on for that first run in nine months.
5. SUMOS NOVIOS (W. J. Burke, Ireland/Robbie Power)
Smart handicap chaser who won handicap at Cork (by 7½ lengths from Mick The Jiver) in 2016/17: Creditable 5 lengths second of 15 to De Benno at Limerick last time, every chance entering straight, but bit more to do here.
6. THUNDER AND ROSES (M. F. Morris, Ireland/Ms L. O'Neill (3))
Hinted at revival when 22½ lengths eighth of 28 to Anibale Fly in Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown last time, prominent for a long way. Stays well and acts on heavy going so capable of going well at a price from fair mark.
7. FLAXEN FLARE (Gordon Elliott, Ireland/Denis O'Regan)
Been mixing hurdling and chasing of late, but to little effect, well below form in 28-runner Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown last time. Well handicapped if bouncing back to form, though.
8. MONBEG NOTORIOUS (Gordon Elliott, Ireland /J. W. Kennedy)
Point winner who confirmed previous promise over fences when winning 5-runner maiden at Punchestown last time by 7½ lengths from Augustin. Looks the type to thrive over long distances, open to further improvement over fences, and looks a leading contender here. First-time visor.
9. ISLEOFHOPENDREAMS (W. P. Mullins, Ireland/David Mullins)
Possibly needed run when pulled up over hurdles in race won by Mine Now at Leopardstown last time. Showed useful form when winning maiden at Cork only start over fences (sure to improve), but lack of experience may count against him here.
10. CALL THE TAXIE (Ellmarie Holden, Ireland /Rachael Blackmore)
Useful form over fences, winning maiden at Navan (by 9 lengths from A Sizing Network) in September. Fell at the tenth in Paddy Power Chase won by Anibale Fly at Leopardstown last time and needs to show that experience has left no lasting impression.
11. WOODS WELL (Gordon Elliott, Ireland/Chris Meehan (5))
Won maiden at Fairyhouse (by 5 lengths from Thebarrowman) in November, but ran no sort of race behind Anibale Fly last time, his inexperience counting against him. Looks up against it again.
12. WOUNDED WARRIOR (Noel Meade, Ireland /A. W. Short (7))
One-time smart chaser but has shown little recent form, including tried back in headgear at Fairyhouse last time.
13. FINE THEATRE (Paul Nolan, Ireland /K. C. Sexton)
Fairly useful chaser who was a respectable 12½ lengths fourth of 15 to De Benno in handicap at Limerick last time.
14. OUT SAM (Gordon Elliott, Ireland /James Bowen (3))
Step back in right direction when 24 lengths tenth of 28 to Anibale Fly in Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown last time on first start since leaving Warren Greatrex. Unreliable, but well enough handicapped to think a big run is on the cards. First-time tongue strap.
15. SPACE CADET (Gordon Elliott, Ireland/Mark Enright)
Respectable 23¼ lengths ninth of 28 to Anibale Fly in Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown last time, but long time since last win (which was over 2m).