Sanctuaire paid the price for trying to run the finish out of Sprinter Sacre in the Tingle Creek and was overhauled by the more patiently-ridden Kumbeshwar on the run to the last. He could easily reverse that form today if ridden with more restraint but Alan King's five-year-old is actually 4lb better off so must be given the chance to prove that run was no fluke. Idarah and His Excellency were fourth and fifth and look held. WISHFULL THINKING hasn't quite hit the heights expected over fences but is no slouch and was well below his best when behind Sanctuaire at Sandown in the spring. Better off at the weights now, he can exact revenge and land this after a confidence-booster at Cheltenham.
Sanctuaire (FR) 11-4 (11-7) Led, soon clear, headed 3 out, weakened last, 3rd of 7, 20l behind Sprinter Sacre (11-7) at Sandown 2m Grade 1 chs (4yo+) (1) sft.
Kumbeshwar 25-1 (11-7) In touch, chased leaders 4 out, stayed on to go remote 2nd after last, no chance with winner, 2nd of 7, 15l behind Sprinter Sacre (11-7) at Sandown 2m Grade 1 chs (4yo+) (1) sft.
Wishfull Thinking 8-11fav (11-0) Blundered and went right 1st, held up in 4th tracked leading pair 4th, went 2nd at 8th, led after 4 out, drew readily clear from 2 out, driven out flat, eased towards finish, won at Cheltenham 2m chs (2) sft in Nov beating Doeslessthanme (11-4) by 18l, 6 ran.
Idarah (USA) 66-1 (11-7) Held up in rear, outpaced 7th, rallied 3 out, stayed on after last, never on terms, 4th of 7, 31l behind Sprinter Sacre (11-7) at Sandown 2m Grade 1 chs (4yo+) (1) sft.
His Excellency (IRE) 9-2 (10-9) Held up behind in touch, tracked leading pair before 4 out, went 5 lengths 2nd after 2 out, ridden and stayed on to lead narrowly flat, no extra when headed towards finish, 2nd of 7, 1 1/4l behind Shooters Wood (10-1) at Cheltenham 2m hcp chs (2) hvy.