Lough Derg has run some of his best races around here and won this in 2009 off a 5lb higher mark. However, he's now in the veteran stage and was undoubtedly flattered by his proximity to Big Buck's in the Long Walk Hurdle at Newbury last month. Advisor finished well adrift of Soldatino in last year's Triumph Hurdle but Nicky Henderson's five-year-old hasn't raced since that landmark success, while the Alan King pair Walkon and Shalone also return for long lay-offs. Frascati Park has good form in novice company but steps out of that sphere for the first time here, while Sophies Trophy was put up 4lb after finishing second at Sandown earlier this month. Warne's Way has been found wanting in this grade before so we'll take a chance on the unexposed SIRE COLLONGES. Mightily impressive when winning over a similar trip at Auteuil last April, the five-year-old has been plenty of time to acclimatise by Paul Nicholls and may have been let in lightly here.
Lough Derg (FR) 40-1 (11-7) Led and soon 12 lengths clear, reduced lead 7th, narrowly headed and driven after 4 out, led again under pressure before next, well held 2nd as field came into view final 110 yards, kept on gamely to hold 2nd, 2nd of 6, 6l behind Big Buck's (11-7) at Newbury 3m hdl G1 (1) gs in Dec.
Walkon (FR) 2-1fav (11-0) Tracked leaders, not fluent 6th, went 2nd soon after, challenging when not fluent 3 out, led 2 out, in command last, driven clear, won at Aintree 2m 4yo nov hdl G1 (1) gd in Apr '09 beating Ski Sunday (11-0) by 13l, 13 ran.
Soldatino (FR) 6-1 (11-0) Held up towards rear, headway approaching 2 out, went 2nd before last, ridden to lead flat, stayed on well, won at Cheltenham 2m 1f 4yo nov hdl G1 (1) gd in Mar beating Barizan (11-0) by 1 1/4l, 17 ran.
Bygones of Brid (IRE) 16-1 (11-0) Close up on outside when mistake and unseated rider 5th, in a race won by James De Vassy (11-2) at Kempton 2m 5f hcp hdl (2) gs, 19 ran.
Notus De La Tour (FR) 7-1 (11-0) Held up mid-division, soon tracking leaders, not fluent 2 out ridden and weakened approaching last, 7th of 11, 25l behind Orsippus (11-0) at Aintree 2m 4yo nov hdl G1 (1) gd in Apr.
Shalone 10-1 (10-12) Held up behind leaders, mistake 3 out, ridden and outpaced after 2 out, shaken up into 3rd soon after last, never any chance with winner, 3rd of 6, 15l behind Zaynar (11-6) at Cheltenham 2m 4f hdl G2 (1) sft in Dec '09.
Frascati Park (IRE) 8-15fav (11-12) Made all, mistake 3rd, driven and hard pressed 2 out, ridden and kept on well flat, won at Leicester 2m nh nov hdl (4) sft beating Araldur (11-5) by 1 3/4l, 9 ran.
Warne's Way (IRE) 14-1 (11-8) Tracked leaders, lost place and badly outpaced 4 out, rallied after next, led before 2 out, ridden clear last, stayed on well, won at Towcester 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft beating Call It On (10-9) by 14l, 12 ran.
Spear Thistle 9-1 (11-12) Made all, dived at 5th, ridden along approaching 2 out, in command last, stayed on well, won at Leicester 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft in Nov beating Numide (11-10) by 4l, 7 ran.
Sophies Trophy (IRE) 25-1 (10-6) Tracked leaders, led 3rd, ridden and pressed from 2 out, headed last, no chance with winner, 2nd of 12, 6l behind Mille Chief (11-12) at Sandown 2m hcp hdl 0-145 (2) hvy.
Advisor (FR) 5-1 (10-12) Unsighted 1st, held up in touch, reminders after 4th, weakened and no impression when hit 3 out and next, tailed off, 10th of 11, well behind Salden Licht (11-12) at Exeter 2m 1f hcp hdl (2) gs.
Tiger O'Toole (IRE) 33-1 (10-11) Held up in rear, ridden after 3 out, headway 2 out, went 4th briefly last, no impresison, 5th of 12, 15l behind Mille Chief (11-12) at Sandown 2m hcp hdl 0-145 (2) hvy.
Sire Collonges (FR) (10-1) won at Auteuil(FR) 2m 1f hdl hvy in Apr beating Hillbilly (10-5) by 5l, 8 ran.
Lucaindubai (IRE) 11-1 (11-11) Chased leaders on inside, mistake 3rd, soon lost place, ridden towards rear after 4 out, headway before 3 out, wekaned 2 out, 9th of 19, 16l behind Devil To Pay (10-6) at Cheltenham 2m nov hcp hdl (3) gs in Nov.