This looks the toughest race of the seven-day fixture. A P McCoy had several to choose from and has plumped for Thomas Edison, whom Tony Martin has prepared to land two handicaps at the Curragh over the past few weeks. He'll be spot-on for this and is probably leniently handicapped though he'll be at short enough odds. There are eight raiders from the UK with John Ferguson leading the way with a trio including top weight Purple Bay, the very impressive winner of a Listed contest at Market Rasen. Shane Shortall has been booked to take 7lb off his mount's back and they could prove the best of the Ferguson raiders. Charlie Longsdon's Vulcanite is improving fast though he's one McCoy rejected, as is Aidan O'Brien's four-year-old Plinth, but Nicky Henderson's Laudatory looked in very good form at Newton Abbot last month. Hisaabaat wasn't beaten far in this a year ago and will have been aimed at another crack but in a very open handicap, CURLEY BILL is given the nod as he won a premier handicap on the Flat at the meeting last year and has shown enough over hurdles to suggest he's well enough weighted to give a good account of himself. Gordon Elliott has aimed Bayan at this and the Coral Cup third could hardly have had a better preparation than scoring on the Flat at Leopardstown three weeks ago.
Purple Bay (IRE) 7-1 (10-11) Held up in touch, closed after 3 out, led going well before next, clear approaching last, ran on strongly, easily, won at Market Rasen 2m 1f Listed hcp hdl (1) gs beating Max Ward (10-13) by 10l, 13 ran.
Vulcanite (IRE) 9-1 (11-7) Mid-division, headway to chase leaders 3 out, led just after last, ran on well, won at Worcester 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-150 (2) gf in Jun beating Join The Clan (11-0) by 1 3/4l, 13 ran.
Fergall (IRE) 7-1 (11-3) Raced wide, took keen hold, headway chasing leaders when hit 4th, challenged 3 out, led soon after, clear before 2 out, stayed on strongly, ridden out, won at Plumpton 2m hcp hdl (2) gs in Apr beating The Green Ogre (10-5) by 4 1/2l, 11 ran.
Bayan (IRE) 11-1 (10-10) Mid-division, headway on inside 2 out, every chance last, kept on until ridden and one pace in 3rd flat, 3rd of 28, 2 1/2l behind Whisper (11-6) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) gd in Mar.
Parlour Games 10-11fav (11-5) Tracked leaders, left 2nd when mistake 5th, led going well after 2 out, drew clear on bridle from last, won at Market Rasen 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) gs beating Norfolk Sky (11-5) by 8l, 6 ran.
Darwins Fox (FR) 3-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders, 2nd halfway, challenged 2 out, soon ridden and no impression on winner run-in, 2nd of 8, 1 1/4l behind Simenon (11-0) at Tipperary 2m hdl Grd 3 (1) gd.
Rawnaq (IRE) 20-1 (10-8) Prominent, led 3rd, left clear next, headed before last, stayed with strong challenge, looked probably held in close 3rd when hampered and switched left towards finish, 3rd of 18, 1 3/4l behind Dell' Arca (10-5) at Cheltenham 2m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) gd in Nov.
Laudatory 4-1 (11-6) Tracked leaders, went 2nd before 3rd until not fluent 5th, led approaching 2 out, clear flat, ran on, won at Newton Abbot 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-140 (3) gd in Jun beating Aalim (11-3) by 4l, 7 ran.
Bordoni (USA) 5-2 (11-12) Tracked leaders, challenging when not fluent 2 out, led before last, soon clear, comfortably, won at Hexham 2m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) sft in Jun beating Super Collider (9-13) by 7l, 6 ran.
Midnight Game 5-2 (11-12) Chased leaders, slight mistake 2nd, 6th halfway, progress into 4th 5 out, ridden entering straight, no impression 3 out, 5th 2 out, left 4th last, 4th of 11, 21l behind Formidableopponent (11-12) at Killarney 2m 1f beg chs gd.
Fiery Oscar (IRE) 16-1 (11-3) Slightly slow 1st, soon mid-division until closed into 3rd when pecked 7 out, not fluent 5 out, still close up when not fluent next, no impression and got slight bump 2 out, no extra in 8th from before last, 8th of 22, 16l behind Close Review (10-4) at Punchestown 2m 6f hcp chs in Jun.
Thomas Edison (IRE) 20-1 (10-9) In rear, headway into 13th on outer 2 out, soon ridden, kept on without threatening from last, 5th of 25, 12l behind Deep Trouble (10-9) at Punchestown 2m 4f hcp hdl in May.
Coffee (IRE) 20-1 (11-2) Held up in rear, not fluent 1st, headway after 6th, never on terms, weakened before 2 out, 12th of 13, 49l behind Ballyglasheen (10-10) at Haydock 2m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) sft in May.
Dubai Prince (IRE) 9-4fav (11-12) Held up in rear, headway on outside 3 out, every chance last, no extra final 100 yards, 3rd of 9, 8l behind Max Ward (11-2) at Aintree 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gd in Jun.
Hisaabaat (IRE) 10-1 (10-9) Rear of mid-division, no impression from 3 out, never a factor, 18th of 25, 49l behind Deep Trouble (10-9) at Punchestown 2m 4f hcp hdl in May.
Plinth (IRE) 1-5fav (11-7) Tracked leader in 2nd, improved to lead after 3 out, pushed along after next, not fluent at last, ridden and kept on well run-in, won at Ballinrobe 2m 1f 4yo hdl gd in May beating Ningbo Express (10-7) by 1 1/2l, 5 ran.
The Game Changer (IRE) 14-1 (10-12) Held up, 10th at 5th, progress to chase leaders straight, slight mistake 2 out, 2nd and no impression last, kept on same pace run-in, 2nd of 15, 2 3/4l behind Pivot Bridge (9-7) at Killarney 2m 1f hcp hdl in May.
Sullane Chief (IRE) 7-1 (11-5) Held up towards rear, close 10th 3 out, 7th and ridden next, improved to dispute lead before last, headed at last, kept on same pace in 2nd run-in, 2nd of 12, 2 1/4l behind Valmy Baie (10-5) at Fairyhouse 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-140 in Feb.
Takeyourcapoff (IRE) 6-1 (11-3) Held up, soon towards rear, closed on outer 4 out, challenged travelling smoothly from next, led from before last, asserted run-in, comfortably, won at Roscommon 2m 4f hcp hdl in Jun beating Mount Gunnery (10-2) by 4 1/2l, 11 ran.
Pearl Castle (IRE) 20-1 (11-0) Held up in rear, ridden and some progress 3 out, moderate 8th entering straight, kept on without threatening, 5th of 13, 10l behind Abbyssial (11-0) at Punchestown 2m 4yo hdl Grade 1 (1) in May.
Curley Bill (IRE) 11-4fav (11-5) Towards rear, ridden 3 out, no impression and kept on same pace from next, 5th of 8, 9l behind King of The Picts (10-11) at Tipperary 2m nov hdl Grd 3 (1) gd in Oct.
Indian Icon (FR) 8-13fav (11-10) Tracked leader in 2nd, improved to lead 2 out, ridden approaching last, kept on well run-in, comfortably, won at Bellewstown 2m 1f 4yo nov hdl gd beating The Visitor (11-0) by 2l, 3 ran.
Macnicholson (IRE) 10-1fav (11-11) Soon mid-division, closed to chase leaders when mistake 3 out, moderate 3rd approaching straight, chased leader in moderate 2nd from before last, stayed on well run-in to lead near line, won at Punchestown 2m hcp hdl 88-123 in May beating Pivot Bridge (10-3) by 1/2l, 25 ran.