Benefficient's trainer Tony Martin admits he is fearful of the threat posed by Arvika Ligeonniere in the Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown.
Grade One-winning hurdler Benefficient has enjoyed a decent start to his career over fences, finishing second at Limerick and winning comfortably at Down Royal before filling the runner-up spot in a good novice chase at Newbury over three miles.
He comes back to two miles and a furlong for this Grade One assignment, but it is the opposition, rather than the trip, that is the concern for Martin, as Arvika Ligeonniere looked a potential superstar when slamming Martin's Dedigout in the Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse last time.
"He's in cracking shape and I think it was a good experience for him running in Newbury. Hopefully that should stand him in good stead," said Martin.
"I think three miles is a bit of a slog for him at this stage, so we're coming back in trip with him and I've no worries about where we're going. He won his Grade One over hurdles over two and a quarter miles, so hopefully he'll be all right.
"Willie's horse is the one we'd all love to be on. When he won in Fairyhouse I thought he's as good a horse as I've seen in a while. Someone from outside racing could watch him and know he's a bit special.
"Oscars Well is a very good horse as well. I've a lot of admiration for both horses."
Mouse Morris saddles Baily Green, who owes his connections nothing having won seven races on the bounce before being beaten by Twinlight at Punchestown last month.
Morris said: "I think he's entitled to take his chance in a race like this. He got beaten the last day but he ran a cracker and was only beaten a length.
"This is another step up for him but it's the obvious progression for him and we may as well dip our toe in and see what happens. The ground isn't going to be ideal for him but it will be better than it is anywhere else, so he'll have to cope with it."
21 December 2014Condon not appealing whip ban
Mogol makes it look easy
Derby hero Chaparral put down
Saphir adds sparkle to Feltham
Mullins star among Christmas seven
Walsh thrilled with Sceaux spin
February return likely for That
Lough still in Lexus frame
Billy fine after Ascot spill
Hanlon hoping Cyclone strikes
Milan primed for Chepstow return
Henderson pleased with big guns
Mulholland serves up Master-class
Bayan bags big Ascot prize
Broadway proves a show-stopper
Three Long Walks for super Sivola
Queen wears Listed crown
Nicholls strikes with Saint
Sceaux puts in impressive show
Silvi the star turn in King George
20 December 2014Sceaux puts in impressive show
Geraghty enthused by Bobs work
Walsh pain at Vautour defection
Billy puffing his chest out again
Master back in the spotlight
Grugy in line to start cantering
Newland seeks more from Re
Prize money boost in HRI initiative
Zig zips to impressive victory
New steroids policy delayed
Serge states Supreme case
Exciting Sceaux out at Fairyhouse
Firebird skips National service
19 December 2014Martin readying big guns
Hobbs on Garde at Ascot
Fry excited by Activial chance
The New One in Haydock return
Reve camp not expecting a hat-trick
King issues Chatez Triumph warning
Bolger searching for Mossey key
King weighs up Karezak options
Henderson hoping Bobs makes Lexus
Simonsig camp play the long game
In-form Mole buries Exeter rivals
Sedgefield hit with heavy fine
Star names check in for Ryanair
Bobs revved up for Lexus repeat
Knott disqualified for three years
Geraghty braced for power Serge
Geraghty excited by Josses return
Activial stars in Ladbroke field
18 December 2014Alvarado back for National service
Winner given Lexus go-ahead
Cheltenham dreams for King's Zero
Sivola bids for Long Walk hat-trick
Power plan uncertain for Westener
Kauto pleases in Olympia display
Mullins eyes twin assault on Lexus
Value oozes class in Newbury romp
Annie Power on road to recovery
Spencer strikes after U-turn
Vautour ready for next jumps test
Mullins banks on Faugheen progress
Victory set to skip Ladbroke
Mullins: Fever can go the distance