Menorah won a Grade 1 novices' event over 2m4f at Aintree in the spring and holds a verdict over CUE CARD over hurdles. However, we prefer Colin Tizzard's charge today as he had the top weight more than 20 lengths behind when the only one to make a race of it with Sprinter Sacre in the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham in March and has won first-time out for the last three seasons. Edgardo Sol alternated between hurdles and fences last season but did win a competitive handicap over the larger obstacles at the Grand National meeting. But he may be high enough in the weights now while Renard probably needs to improve again on a promising comeback run at Chepstow. Webberys Dream was consistent last term but is 11lb wrong in the weights here.
Menorah (IRE) 5-2 (11-10) Tracked leaders, slight mistake 1st, 3rd halfway, headway to dispute 3 out and led next, soon strongly pressed and headed early straight, no impression in 3rd when jumped left last, no extra run-in, 4th of 7, 12l behind Lucky William (11-10) at Punchestown 2m nov chs G1 hvy in Apr.
Edgardo Sol (FR) 9-4fav (11-7) Held up towards rear, pushed along after 3 out, weakened before 2 out, 6th of 10, 11l behind Raya Star (11-6) at Ayr 2m Ltd hcp hdl (1) gd in Apr.
Cue Card 13-2 (11-7) Led to 9th, chased winner from next, outpaced 3 out, 3 length down in clear 2nd next, soon ridden, kept on, no impression, 2nd of 6, 7l behind Sprinter Sacre (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m nov chs G1 (1) gd in Mar.
Renard (FR) 5-1 (10-5) Presesed leader, led 7th, blundered and headed 4 out, lost 2nd before next, stayed on same pace in 3rd, 3rd of 7, 13l behind Oiseau de Nuit (10-13) at Chepstow 2m hcp chs (2) gs in Oct.
Webberys Dream 6-1 (10-9) Raced wide, took keen hold, chased leader until slithered on landing and lost hind legs 7th, rallied to again 2nd close home, no chance with unextended winner, 2nd of 6, 14l behind Dualla Lord (10-12) at Wincanton 2m 6f nh nov hdl (4) hvy in May.