CHANGING THE GUARD's aggressive tactics have not been so effective the last twice in highly competitive hurdle company and he's likely to appreciate the return to fences despite the imposition of carrying top weight. Sure to receive a typically attacking ride from his pilot, he's taken to blunt the finishing kick of the rejuvenated Able Deputy who has suddenly discovered the winning habit, after frustrating his trainer previously, with three successive successes under AP McCoy. Ed Cookson takes over now and his 5lb claim will help to offset part of a 19lb hike in the weights for that seemingly unexpected hat-trick. Indeed, Surf And Turf is weighted to reverse placings with the Bailey horse on previous running and could well emerge as the main danger off his current mark, although Croco Bay is an improving young chaser destined for better things. Whether he'll be ready for this assignment after a break is another matter but he's definitely one to keep an eye on in the future.
Changing The Guard 11-4 (11-12) Chased leader until before 3rd, ridden after 5th, weakened before 2 out, 4th of 7, 20l behind Laudatory (11-6) at Newton Abbot 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-140 (3) gd in Jun.
Able Deputy 5-6fav (11-11) Tracked leader, jumped left 7th and 8th, challenged 3 out, led before next, easily, won at Worcester 2m hcp chs 0-140 (3) gf in Jun beating Surf And Turf (11-12) by 2 1/2l, 5 ran.
Croco Bay (IRE) Evensfav (11-7) Led to 7th, tracked leader, led again 4 out, driven clear from 2 out, stayed on well, comfortably, won at Doncaster 2m 3f nov chs (3) gd in Feb beating Oscatara (11-0) by 10l, 4 ran.
Kings Grey (IRE) 16-1 (10-9) Held up in last, hit 6th, headway 4 out, not fluent and outpaced 3 out, no extra next, 6th of 9, 45l behind Anquetta (10-4) at Market Rasen 2m 4f hcp chs (2) gd in May.
Surf And Turf (IRE) 2-1 (11-12) Tracked leaders on inside, not fluent 10th, went 2nd 2 out, ridden and no impression on winner flat, stayed on same pace, 2nd of 5, 2 1/2l behind Able Deputy (11-11) at Worcester 2m hcp chs 0-140 (3) gf in Jun.
Fair Dilemma (IRE) 14-1 (11-11) Chased leaders, went 2nd 3 out, soon ridden, stayed on strongly run in to lead close home, won at Fakenham 2m 5f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gd in Jun beating Tony Dinozzo (10-5) by 1l, 8 ran.
Passato (GER) 8-1 (10-5) Prominent, led 5th, pressed last, driven flat, headed post, 2nd of 7, ns behind Deciding Moment (10-10) at Stratford 2m 4f hcp chs 0-140 (3) gd in May.
Temple Lord (FR) 3-1 (11-12) Tracked leaders in 4th, went 2nd over 2f out, kept on same pace, 4th of 6, 5l behind Traditional Bob (11-7) at Ffos Las 2m 3f hcp chs 0-120 (4) gf in Jun.