Baily Green continues on his merry way and has won his last six, five of them over fences. He could hardly have scored more convincingly on his two latest starts at this level and a penalty is hardly likely to prevent another big effort. However, the concession of 8lb to SEA OF THUNDER may prove beyond him. An unlucky loser of a Grade 2 over hurdles at Cheltenham in December, he impressed on his chasing bow at Clonmel and returned to Cheltenham last month where he did well to finish close-up behind the potentially high-class Sire Collonges. Laganbank has done nothing wrong and wasn't far behind Baily Green off levels at Roscommon in May while Tofino Bay jumped well on his chasing debut at Navan and had more in hand than the narrow verdict suggests.
Baily Green (IRE) 5-4fav (11-8) Prominent and soon led, headed after 4th, challenged early straight and led again 2 out, asserted before last and stayed on well run-in, won at Punchestown 2m 2f nov chs (1) hvy in Oct beating Special Tiara (11-0) by 15l, 6 ran.
Laganbank (IRE) Evensfav (11-6) Held up in rear, 4th 3 out, headway into 3rd 2 out, ridden after last, under pressure entering straight, kept on to 2nd closing stages, no impression winner, 2nd of 5, 5l behind Imperial Shabra (10-13) at Galway 2m 1f nov chs sft in Sep.
Sea Of Thunder (IRE) 11-8fav (11-5) Held up, not fluent 12th, headway 4 out, chased winner next, 4 lengths down and driven 2 out, stayed on, no impression, 2nd of 8, 2l behind Sire Collonges (11-5) at Cheltenham 3m nov chs (2) gs in Oct.
Tofino Bay (IRE) 2-1fav (11-12) Led and disputed throughout, ridden approaching last, asserted close home, won at Navan 2m 4f beg chs sft in Sep beating He's Our Man (11-12) by 1/2l, 11 ran.