High-class chaser KALAHARI KING puts in an appearance here. His fourth in the Grade 1 Champion Chase over 2m at Punchestown in April is testament to his ability and Ferdy Murphy's charge looks the one to beat with a 7lb apprentice making his task that much easier. Stablemate Riguez Dancer and Brian Ellison's Palomar are improving hurdlers who can figure, but Bygones Of Brid is better than both over timber and could prove the biggest threat to the selection.
Bygones of Brid (IRE) 66-1 (11-7) Led at decent pace, clear when slow and reduced lead 2nd, ridden and joined when hit 3 out, soon headed, lost 2nd next, edged left under pressure and weakened before last, 4th of 5, 13l behind Peddlers Cross (11-7) at Newbury 2m hdl G1 (1) gs in Nov.
Feeling Peckish (USA) 100-1 (10-9) Close up, pushed along over 7f out, weakened over 5f out, 7th of 10, well behind Den of Iniquity (11-0) at Southwell 2m Nat Hunt Flat (5yo+) (AWT) (4) std.
Film Festival (USA) 7-4 (11-6) Led, ridden and headed 2 out, soon outpaced by winner, weakened and lost 2nd bend into straight, 4th of 5, 39l behind Robo (11-9) at Fakenham 3m nov chs (3) gs in Nov.
Kalahari King (FR) 9-1 (11-7) Held up behind, ridden and outpaced 4 out, soon beaten, 7th of 9, 31l behind Master Minded (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m Grade 1 chs (4yo+) (1) gs.
Leslingtaylor (IRE) 33-1 (10-9) Pulled hard in touch, weakened 4 out, beaten when slightly hampered next, 11th of 17, 47l behind Menorah (11-12) at Cheltenham 2m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) gs in Nov.
Palomar (USA) 20-1 (10-10) Held up towards rear, headway 3 out, led and not fluent 2 out, carried head awkwardly flat but kept on well, won at Market Rasen 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-150 (2) gd in Sep beating Tarkari (11-2) by 2 1/2l, 17 ran.
Quinola Des Obeaux (FR) 22-1 (11-1) Took keen hold, led until not fluent 6th, chased winner until 10th, last when mistake 12th, weakened 4 out, tailed off, 5th of 6, well behind Golan Way (11-7) at Huntingdon 2m 4f nov chs (3) gs in Nov.
Riguez Dancer 4-1 (11-12) Held up in rear, headway approaching 4 out, ridden after last, kept on to lead final 100 yards, won at Wetherby 2m hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft in Nov beating Viable (11-0) by 1l, 7 ran.
Sole Bonne Femme (IRE) 8-1 (11-2) Mid-division, weakened from 4 out, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Shake The Bottle (10-13) at Limerick 2m 3f hcp chs 0-109 gd in May, 16 ran.
Tora Bora (GER) 9-2fav (11-2) Tracked leaders on outside, went prominent 3rd, led approaching 7th until before 12th, soon under pressure and lost place, behind 14th, tailed off, 8th of 13, well behind Panama At Once (11-0) at Hexham 3m 1f hcp chs 0-100 (4) gd in Apr.
Go On Be A Lady 14-1 (10-7) Led, headed 4f out, soon pushed along, soon weakened, 4th of 5, 31l behind Priceless Art (11-0) at Southwell 2m Nat Hunt Flat (4yo+) (AWT) (4) std.