LONG RUN could be a massive price in this as the race clearly brings out the best in the eight-year-old and amateur pilot Sam Waley-Cohen. The partnership were successful in 2010 and 12 months ago and, in between, only found the legendary Kauto Star a length-and-a-quarter too good. He had Champion Court, Cue Card and Riverside Theatre well beaten last year but Cue Card reversed the form in spectacular fashion in last month's betfair Chase at Haydock when staying on strongly to beat Dynaste and Silviniaco Conti, dispelling stamina doubts. The worry here is that Champion Court will take on Colin Tizzard's stable star for the lead and that could set things up for a finisher. Menorah was a long way behind Silviniaco Conti over 3m at Newbury in February and also looks held by Cue Card on the form book while Al Ferof has chosen a very tough race in which to try this trip for the first time under Rules, though did win over 3m in a point-to-point. Mount Benbulben won a Grade 1 novice chase at Punchestown in April but jumped poorly before unseating his rider on his reappearance at Down Royal and will likely find it tough going against these classy chasers.
Al Ferof (FR) 1-5fav (11-7) Made all, set decent pace, in command from 12th, clear from 3 out, unchallenged, won at Ascot 2m 3f Grade 2 chs (4yo+) (1) gs in Nov beating French Opera (11-1) by 8l, 2 ran.
Champion Court (IRE) 4-1 (11-6) Led, ridden after 3 out, saddle slipped soon after next, mistake last, headed flat, no extra close home, 2nd of 7, 1/2l behind Riverside Theatre (11-0) at Huntingdon 2m 4f Grade 2 chs (4yo+) (1) gs.
Cue Card 9-1 (11-7) Prominent, led 5th, challenged from 4 out, hard ridden 2 out, stayed on strongly, won at Haydock 3m 1f chs G1 (1) sft in Nov beating Dynaste (11-7) by 4 1/2l, 8 ran.
Dynaste (FR) 11-2 (11-7) Held up towards rear, headway 6 out, soon chasing leaders, travelling strongly 3 out, soon ridden to challenge, went 2nd approaching last, no chance with winner, 2nd of 8, 4 1/2l behind Cue Card (11-7) at Haydock 3m 1f chs G1 (1) sft in Nov.
Long Run (FR) 7-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders, effort when not fluent 4 out, weakened after next, 4th of 8, 21l behind Cue Card (11-7) at Haydock 3m 1f chs G1 (1) sft in Nov.
Menorah (IRE) 9-1 (11-10) Held up in rear, jumped left 6th, reminder 10th, headway 12th, ridden before 4 out, went 2nd before 2 out, led last, headed towards finish, 2nd of 7, 3/4l behind Champion Court (10-7) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp chs G2 (1) gs in Apr.
Mount Benbulben (IRE) 9-2 (11-10) Held up early, closer in 4th at 3rd, dropped to rear before halfway, niggled along briefly 8 out, headway into 4th 5 out, close on inner when bad mistake and unseated rider next, in a race won by Roi Du Mee (11-10) at Down Royal 3m chs G1 (1) sft in Nov, 6 ran.
Riverside Theatre 9-4fav (11-0) Tracked leader, mistake 7th, jumped slowly after, under pressure 4 out, rallied after 2 out, led after last, kept on under pressure, won at Huntingdon 2m 4f Grade 2 chs (4yo+) (1) gs beating Champion Court (11-6) by 1/2l, 7 ran.
Silviniaco Conti (FR) 7-2 (11-7) In touch, headway to track leaders 6 out, every chance before 3 out, weakened approaching last, 3rd of 8, 6l behind Cue Card (11-7) at Haydock 3m 1f chs G1 (1) sft in Nov.