Elsafeer has the best recent form of these having won his last two starts at Worcester and Kempton. But this is a marked step up in grade with Topolski, successful in a Grade 2 at Aintree in April and still unbeaten over timber, heading the weights. Nearby looks worth opposing again, however, having looked very one-paced back over hurdles behind Pepe Simo at Kempton and it would be no surprise if fourth Via Galilei reversed that form today on much better terms. Drill Sergeant is a tough sort, while Katies Tuitor isn't badly treated on his best form but we're going to concentrate on a clutch of talented four-year-olds today. Kumbeshwar held his own in top-class company after winning at Sandown in February, finishing in the money at Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown. He deserves to land a decent prize but Colin Tizzard holds THIRD INTENTION in high regard and he can make a winning reappearance. The Azamour gelding finished ahead of both Brampour and A Media Luz in the Triumph Hurdle and can improve again this winter if settling better.
Topolski (IRE) 11-2 (11-4) Held up behind and keen, headway before 2 out, ridden after last, led final 100 yards, held on well towards finish, won at Aintree 2m nov hdl G2 (1) gd in Apr beating Oilily (10-11) by 3/4l, 13 ran.
Nearby 13-8fav (11-8) Led, clear straight away, mistake 2nd, reduced advantage when not fluent 3 out, mistake 2 out, headed before last, beaten and one pace, 2nd of 4, 5l behind Pepe Simo (11-8) at Kempton 2m hdl (2) gd.
Kumbeshwar 6-1 (11-0) Tracked leader in 2nd, led after 3 out, strongly pressed entering straight, headed under pressure approaching last, soon no chance with winner, kept on one pace, 2nd of 7, 9l behind Grandouet (11-0) at Punchestown 2m 4yo hdl Grd 1 (1) gd in May.
Third Intention (IRE) 5-4fav (10-12) Settled last, smooth headway to track leaders travelling well 3 out, challenged on bit 2 out, led last, ridden and quickened clear flat, easily, won at Cheltenham 2m 1f nh nov hdl (2) gd in Apr beating Higgy's Ragazzo (10-12) by 8l, 5 ran.
Brampour (IRE) 7-1 (10-12) Tracked leaders, chased leader 2nd, hit 4th, not fluent next, every chance 3 out, weakened last, 9th of 13, 24l behind Topolski (11-4) at Aintree 2m nov hdl G2 (1) gd in Apr.
Katies Tuitor 33-1 (11-7) Mid-division, weakened 2 out, 10th of 23, 33l behind Qaspal (10-3) at Sandown 2m lst hcp hdl (0-150) (1) gs in Mar '10.
Drill Sergeant 10-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders, challenged 3 out, ridden before next, weakened 2 out, 7th of 15, 18l behind Rumble Of Thunder (10-9) at Market Rasen 2m 1f Listed hcp hdl (1) gd in Sep.
Via Galilei (IRE) 9-4 (11-5) Held up in 3rd, closed 3 out, ridden before next, soon beaten, weakened last, last of 4, 24l behind Pepe Simo (11-8) at Kempton 2m hdl (2) gd.
A Media Luz (FR) 8-1 (10-5) Held up towards rear and keen on outer, headway before 3 out, weakened before last, 10th of 13, 28l behind Topolski (11-4) at Aintree 2m nov hdl G2 (1) gd in Apr.
Harry Tricker 13-2 (11-8) Tendency to jump right, held up last and well off the pace, never on terms with leading trio, tailed off and eased from 4 out, blundered last, last of 4, dis behind Mamlook (11-1) at Sandown 2m nov chs (3) gd in Mar.
Elsafeer (IRE) 3-1 (11-6) Tracked leader, led 2nd, ridden after 2 out, pressed last, stayed on, won at Kempton 2m Listed nov hdl (1) gd beating Rajnagan (11-8) by 1/2l, 8 ran.
Baracas (FR) 20-1 (10-11) Led, headed and no extra from before 2 out, 8th of 13, 13l behind Princeton Plains (11-1) at Listowel 2m hcp hdl in Sep.
Tarkari (IRE) 20-1 (10-11) Held up behind, headway before 2 out, ridden and one pace, 5th of 15, 14l behind Rumble Of Thunder (10-9) at Market Rasen 2m 1f Listed hcp hdl (1) gd in Sep.