Le Rocher stayed on dourly to get the better of Kentucky Hyden in the Finale Hurdle at Chepstow last month. The runner-up had already been beaten by Ballyglasheen here and is in danger of becoming disappointing but did finish ahead of subsequent Kempton scorer VICENZO MIO on the latter occasion. Paul Nicholls' juvenile probably needed the run, however, and can show his true worth in this. Goodwood Mirage and Ronaldinho were both decent on the Flat and are entitled to improve on their debut efforts. The former did win narrowly at Kempton, despite some sticky jumping, and Alan King's charge still had every chance approaching the last at Newbury.
Ballyglasheen (IRE) 33-1 (11-3) Tracked leader until 5th, stayed handy, pecked 2 out, ridden approaching last, challenged at hurdle, led flat, held on gamely, won at Cheltenham 2m 1f 3yo hdl (2) gd in Dec beating Kentucky Hyden (11-7) by nk, 6 ran.
Kentucky Hyden (IRE) 2-1 (11-0) Led, ridden and headed after 4 out, stayed on under pressure, no impression towards finish, 2nd of 5, 2 1/2l behind Le Rocher (11-0) at Chepstow 2m 3yo hdl Grd 1 (1) hvy in Dec.
Le Rocher (FR) 11-2 (11-0) Tracked leader until mistake 2nd, stayed handy, challenged 4 out, soon led, hit 2 out, driven and stayed on well flat, won at Chepstow 2m 3yo hdl Grd 1 (1) hvy in Dec beating Kentucky Hyden (11-0) by 2 1/2l, 5 ran.
Vicenzo Mio (FR) Evensfav (11-8) Jumped slickly, tracked leader, challenged 3 out, led going strongly well before 2 out, soon clear, very easily, won at Kempton 2m 3yo hdl (3) sft in Dec beating Stephen Hero (10-12) by 17l, 6 ran.
Goodwood Mirage (IRE) 6-4fav (10-12) Took keen hold tracking leaders, bumped 2nd, went 2nd travelling well after 3 out, led before 2 out, headed and bumped 2 out, dropped to 3rd, rallied to 2nd and challenging when mistake last, kept on well final 100 yards, driven ahead post, won at Kempton 2m 4yo hdl (4) sft beating The Green Ogre (10-12) by shd, 8 ran.
Ronaldinho (IRE) 9-4fav (10-12) Led, not fluent 4th, joined 3 out, kept slight lead under pressure, driven and headed after 2 out, chased winner until weakened approaching last, 4th of 5, 13l behind Baradari (10-12) at Newbury 2m 3yo hdl (3) hvy in Dec.