View from connections ahead of Saturday's At The Races Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse.
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Leading John Smith's Grand National contenders Prince De Beauchene and Seabass clash in the At The Races Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse on Saturday.
The Willie Mullins-trained Prince De Beauchene was a hugely impressive winner of one of Ireland's biggest National trials 12 months ago, with the champion trainer's Hedgehunter winning both races in 2005.
An injury suffered during last year's race ruled Prince De Beauchene out of a trip to Aintree, but he appeared as good as ever when winning on his seasonal reappearance over hurdles at Limerick in December.
Mullins said of Prince De Beauchene: "He won last year and came into the winner's enclosure 100%, but by the time he got back up to the veterinary unit he was lame and he just got lamer and lamer.
"He pulled some type of ligament or something and I hope he can get through that this year.
"He had a nice run over hurdles down in Limerick and was fine afterwards, so let's get the Bobbyjo out of the way and then look to Aintree.
"The way he did it at Limerick did surprise me a bit, but he had been working well at home."
Should Prince De Beauchene make the trip to Merseyside in April, he will have to carry the not inconsiderable burden off 11st 3lb, but the champion trainer is not overly concerned.
"He's got plenty of weight but he's a huge horse and built to carry it," Mullins told At The Races.
"Taking last year into account, I'm happy if I get him there. I don't want any last-minute problems.
"He's one to look forward to with his style of jumping and the size and scope that he has."
Among his rivals is Ted Walsh's Seabass, who ran a superb race under the trainer's daughter, Katie, when third in last year's Grand National.
He ran well over hurdles at Fairyhouse on his return earlier this month and aims to enhance his own Aintree claims.
After a slightly disappointing start to the campaign, Colm Murphy's dual Grade One-winning chaser Quito De La Roque looked more like his old self when beating the Roi Du Mee comfortably at Thurles a month ago.
Murphy said: "We were delighted with his performance the last day and hopefully if he can reproduce that, he'll run a big race.
"He's got to give a bit of weight away, but hopefully he's up to it and this race will tell us a lot about where we're going.
"He's in the Gold Cup and the National and there is also the three-mile race at Aintree and Punchestown later on, so we'll see how we go."
Martin Lynch saddles 2011 Grand National runner-up Oscar Time, who missed much of last season through injury.
Oscar Time ran creditably on his return from a year off at Thurles in late November, but then unseated jockey Sam Waley-Cohen in the race won by Quito De La Roque.
Lynch said: "I'm very happy with how he is working at home and although he won't like the ground, we need to get a competitive race into him.
"His last run was less than satisfactory, so we want to get him back on track.
"He appears the same at home as he was a couple of years ago, but until he goes and shows it on the track again, we're not going to know for sure if he is as good as he was.
"I'm hopeful with the way he is training, but I want to see him run well tomorrow."