ALBERTAS RUN doesn't like the winter months but comes good at this time of year and is fancied to repeat his win in this race 12 months ago when he beat Poquelin and J'y Vole with Voy Por Ustedes even further behind. Jonjo O'Neill's gelding went on to win the Melling Chase at Aintree when Tartak was only fourth and both the disappointing Kalahari King and Poquelin failed to finish. The latter has been in good form this season, however, defying top weight in a well-contested Grade 3 handicap over this C&D in December, while Tartak beat Breedsbreeze in the Peterborough Chase at Newbury before winning another Grade 3 here on New Year's Day. Tom George's eight-year-old probably found the soft ground against him behind Riverside Theatre at Ascot last time and has decent each-way claims in this but Captain Cee Bee and Somersby were both engaged in yesterday's Queen Mother Champion Chase and the likes of Hey Big Spender, Roberto Goldback and Rubi Light appear to have a little to find at the weights.
Albertas Run (IRE) 33-1 (11-10) In touch on outside, ridden and outpaced approaching 12th, soon weakened and pulled up, in a race won by Long Run (11-10) at Kempton 3m chs G1 (1) gs in Jan, 9 ran.
Breedsbreeze (IRE) 7-2 (11-10) Raced wide, held up in touch in 6th, reminders and ridden along 10th, effort 12th, not fluent 14th, went 3rd next until weakened after 3 out, tailed off, 7th of 8, 39l behind Iconoclast (10-4) at Ascot 3m hcp chs Listed (1) sft in Feb.
Captain Cee Bee (IRE) 7-2 (11-12) Held up in rear, not fluent 3rd, ridden and no impression from 2 out, kept on same, last of 4, 9l behind Big Zeb (11-12) at Leopardstown 2m 1f chs G1 (1) hvy in Dec.
Gauvain (GER) 14-1 (11-7) Chased leader, narrow lead 7th until mistake and headed 11th, led again next, headed 2 out, readily held and no chance with winner between last 2, 2nd of 7, 10l behind Riverside Theatre (11-7) at Ascot 2m 5f chs G1 (1) sft in Feb.
Hey Big Spender (IRE) 12-1 (11-11) Patiently ridden in rear, hampered 1st, mistake 9th, pushed along approaching 12th, headway after 4 out, stayed on from 2 out, never nearer, 4th of 16, 33l behind Quinz (11-0) at Kempton 3m hcp chs G3 (1) gs in Feb.
Kalahari King (FR) 25-1 (11-7) In rear when badly hampered 9th, headway after 3 out, never troubled leaders, 4th of 9, 22l behind Master Minded (11-7) at Ascot 2m 1f Grade 1 chs (1) gs in Jan.
Poquelin (FR) 16-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders, went 2nd after 3 out, led next, ridden and hard pressed last, held on well under pressure flat, won at Cheltenham 2m 5f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gs in Dec beating Great Endeavour (10-5) by 1l, 16 ran.
Rare Bob (IRE) 20-1 (11-10) In touch, led 3rd until headed and pulled up quickly after 11th, in a race won by Bensalem (11-2) at Cheltenham 3m hcp chs G3 (1) gd, 19 ran.
Roberto Goldback (IRE) 5-4fav (11-8) Settled behind leaders, mainly 4th, 3rd 5 out, improved to challenge 3 out, ridden before next, no extra before last, kept on same pace, 2nd of 6, 10l behind Rubi Light (11-6) at Gowran Park 2m 4f chs Grd 2 (1) hvy in Feb.
Rubi Light (FR) 7-1 (11-6) Chased leader in 2nd, led halfway, challenged 3 out, ridden to assert before last, kept on well, won at Gowran Park 2m 4f chs Grd 2 (1) hvy in Feb beating Roberto Goldback (11-8) by 10l, 6 ran.
Somersby (IRE) 8-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders, ridden to challenge 2 out, stayed on strongly flat, just failed, 2nd of 9, shd behind Master Minded (11-7) at Ascot 2m 1f Grade 1 chs (1) gs in Jan.
Tartak (FR) 9-2 (11-7) Not fluent, hit 1st, chased leading trio, left 3rd at 8th, hit 13th, in 4th when hit 3 out and driven, weakened before next, 5th of 7, 25l behind Riverside Theatre (11-7) at Ascot 2m 5f chs G1 (1) sft in Feb.
Voy Por Ustedes (FR) 7-1 (11-10) Prominent 3rd, went 2nd 6th until 13th, outpaced from 2 out, 5th of 7, 16l behind Duc De Regniere (10-9) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp chs G2 (1) gd in Apr.
J'y Vole (FR) 7-4fav (11-3) Held up in touch, progress into 5th 4 out, 4th next, 2nd and challenged after 2 out, no extra inside final furlong, 3rd of 9, 3 1/2l behind Follow The Plan (11-3) at Thurles 2m 4f chs Grd 2 (1) sft in Jan.