Twice a winner on the Flat for Ballydoyle, Big Occasion never figured in the Cesarewitch in October, but has to be considered on his hurdling debut. Kusadiki is already proven over timber after scoring in testing ground over a shorter trip at Fontwell last month and he should give a good account, but TOUR DES CHAMPS is preferred. He won over a distance just short of today's at Stratford on his racecourse debut before a tired fall in a Grade 2 hurdle at Cheltenham last time and is fancied to return to winning ways back at this level. Better is expected from both Ruben Cotter and Sir Roger and they look best of the rest.
Tour Des Champs (FR) 12-1 (11-4) Tracked leaders, lost place quickly after 4 out, soon behind, pulled up after 2 out, in a race won by Fingal Bay (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m 5f nov hdl G2 (1) gs in Nov, 10 ran.
Big Occasion (IRE) 33-1 (9-3) In touch, ridden 5f out, soon lost place, beaten when eased 2f out, 25th of 33, 49l behind Never Can Tell (8-11) at Newmarket 2m 2f hcp (2) gd in Oct (flat).
Kusadiki (IRE) 12-1 (10-4) Mid-division, headway after 6th, chasing leaders when went left and hit 4 out, went 2nd approaching 2 out, hard ridden flat, stayed on to lead final 150 yards, driven out, won at Fontwell 2m 4f 4yo nov stks (4) hvy in Nov beating Duke Of Monmouth (10-4) by 3/4l, 13 ran.
Nodebateaboutit 16-1 (10-12) Mid-division, headway 9th, went 3rd 3 out until pecked and weakened next, tailed off, 4th of 13, 44l behind Miss Kalifa (10-5) at Ffos Las 3m nh nov hdl (4) sft in Nov.
Romulus D'artaix (FR) 2-1fav (10-12) Held up in touch, ridden in 3rd before last, kept on same pace, 3rd of 11, 8l behind Rolling Aces (10-12) at Wincanton 2m 6f nh nov hdl (4) gs in Nov.
Rowlestone Lad 28-1 (10-12) Held up in rear, headway on outside from 5th, went 2nd next until mistake 2 out, no extra last, 7th of 12, 32l behind Arab League (11-4) at Taunton 2m 1f nh nov hdl (3) gf in Nov.
Ruben Cotter (IRE) 7-4fav (10-12) Mid-division, not fluent 6th, headway next, ridden 3 out, weakened 2 out, 5th of 13, 17l behind Highland Lodge (10-12) at Exeter 2m 5f nh nov hdl (4) gs in Nov.
Salberto (FR) 66-1 (10-9) Held up towards rear, pushed along after 7th, soon weakened, 8th of 15, well behind Knock A Hand (11-0) at Chepstow 2m 4f mdn hdl (5) hvy in Nov.
Sir Roger (IRE) 25-1 (10-12) Took keen hold, soon chasing winner, every chance bypassing ommited 3 out, lost 2nd next, weakened between last 2, 6th of 17, 18l behind So Fine (11-5) at Warwick 2m 5f nh nov hdl (4) gd in Nov.
Flying Whale 10-1 (10-10) Mid-division, pushed along and lost place after 2nd, behind when mistake 4th, tailed off, 10th of 12, well behind Orbital Orchid (10-10) at Worcester 2m mrs nov hdl (4) gs in Oct '09.
Regal Brook 100-1 (10-7) Held up mid-division, chased leaders after blundered 7th, challenged 4 out, weakened 3 out, 4th of 15, 27l behind Knock A Hand (11-0) at Chepstow 2m 4f mdn hdl (5) hvy in Nov.