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Cross Appeal finished three and a half lengths behind Ad Idem in third with Some Target four lengths away in fourth, followed by top-weight Prince De Beauchene.
On his comeback at Naas last month Ad Idem ran with considerable promise in a decent handicap hurdle, finishing second to He'llberemembered.
Alan Crowe conjured a great run out of Groody Hill, getting up in the last strides to beat Ad Idem by half a length.
But it could be worth taking a chance on Ad Idem as he bids to follow up a recent beginner's chase success at Navan.
Peter Casey interview, page 12 CONTENDERS Pauline Gavin, trainer of Ad Idem "Some of my horses just weren't right at Christmas but he seems fine and all his bloods have been perfect.
And a tentative vote goes to the Pauline Gavin-trained AD IDEM, a dour stayer with a good record at Navan, having won a novice event on the track in January.
In the absence of Quel Esprit and the Gordon Elliott-trained Chicago Grey, who is among the 12 entries for the supporting Grade 2 Galmoy Hurdle, Ad Idem now heads the Thyestes weights.
However, he produced a career-best effort on his first outing at this 3m trip in the Troytown at Navan last month, staying on strongly after coming under pressure to get up close home and see off the strong travelling Ad Idem (pair clear), defying a 13lb rise for his Wexford win.
Third on his chasing bow, Ballymak has gone close in his two subsequent starts, finishing with a flourish when beaten a half-length by Ad Idem at Navan before failing by a head to Arabella Boy, when odds-on, at Fairyhouse last time.
However, the former useful juvenile hurdler has found his form again after struggling last season and has a fighting chance of reversing form with Groody Hill and Ad Idem, the two horses who beat him when he made a pleasing handicap debut in the Troytown at Navan last month.
Top-weight AD IDEM, which beat Ballymak on the track in January before giving Roi Du Mee a fright at Naas recently, sets a decent standard in the big novice handicap chase at Navan tomorrow.