SPECIAL TIARA returns to the smaller obstacles for the first time since 2012. He's developed into a high-class chaser in the meantime with a third in the Grade 1 Betfair Chase at Sandown behind Sire De Grugy in April. Racing off a massive 39lb lower mark back over timber, he's the one to beat. Mahrajaan won off a higher mark over fences on his latest start but Portrade has been upped 10lb after landing a double with a win over track and trip last month. Elsie and He's Our Man also have claims if the likely favourite is not at his best.
Elsie (IRE) 2-1fav (11-7) Tracked leader, a little keen, not fluent 2 out, no impression in 4th approaching last, one pace, 4th of 6, 11l behind Well Tuned (10-6) at Limerick 2m 4f mrs nov hdl gd in Jul.
He's Our Man (IRE) 11-1 (10-10) Mid-division, headway into 4th travelling well entering straight, disputed lead after 3 out, led after 2 out, ridden after last, strongly pressed and headed near finish, 2nd of 12, nk behind Golden Ticket (9-12) at Killarney 2m 1f hcp hdl gd in Jul.
Akinspirit (IRE) 33-1 (11-12) Held up, 9th early, 8th into straight, soon no impression, slightly impeded last, stayed on well run-in, 5th of 15, 10l behind Afatcat (11-12) at Clonmel 2m beg chase gd in Jun.
Portrade (IRE) 3-1fav (11-11) Chased leaders, improved to lead from 4 out, clear and stayed on well run-in, comfortably, won at Cork 2m hcp hdl 80-102 gd in Jul beating Razia (10-4) by 4 1/2l, 13 ran.
Special Tiara 7-1 (11-7) Took keen hold, led until 3 out, 3rd and one pace from 2 out, stayed on flat, 3rd of 6, 5l behind Sire De Grugy (11-7) at Sandown 2m chs G1 (1) gs in Apr.
Limpopo Tom (IRE) 14-1 (11-7) Chased leader in 4th, 3rd halfway, ridden in 4th after 3 out, moderate 3rd and driven before 2 out, kept on one pace, 3rd of 13, 19l behind Lilly The Lioness (10-7) at Tipperary 2m 1f hcp chs 0-109 in Jul.
Mahrajaan (USA) 7-1 (9-13) Mid-division, 4th halfway, bad mistake 4 out, ridden after 3 out, challenged and led after 2 out, kept on well run-in, won at Killarney 2m 1f hcap ch gd in Jul beating Nearly Nama'd (10-6) by 1l, 10 ran.
Decade Player (IRE) 33-1 (9-3) Disputed lead early, soon led, strongly pressed straight, headed and not fluent last, soon no extra, kept on same pace, 4th of 18, 8l behind Desertmore Stream (11-1) at Punchestown 2m hcp hdl in Jun.
Wisty (IRE) 16-1 (11-5) Tracked leaders, close 3rd when fell 3 out, in a race won by Ronava (10-11) at Wexford 2m hcp hdl 80-95 in Jul, 15 ran.
Shabra Emperor (IRE) 20-1 (10-3) Always towards rear, ridden and no impression 3 out, weakened, 11th of 14, well behind Xsquared (11-12) at Ballinrobe 2m hcp hdl 80-109 gd in Jun.