Alex Chadwick is having only his second ride in public but will be on a short-priced favourite in Merrion Square. Paul Nicholls' eight-year-old won over course and distance in May before being pulled up over fences at Newton Abbot and is probably the one to beat. But we might take a chance on CELESTA, who has a jumping pedigree and looked as though he needed much further when third in a bumper at Uttoxeter in June on his racecourse debut. Byron Blue only won a seller here last month while winning pointer Supapowers made little impression at Southwell but Petrovic is probably capable of better.
Byron Blue (IRE) 2-1fav (10-12) Made all, drew clear on bit after 3 out, unchallenged, very easily, won at Worcester 2m 4f sll hdl (5) gf in Jul beating Phase Shift (10-5) by 26l, 6 ran.
Merrion Square (IRE) 13-2 (11-12) Towards rear, blundered 10th, never going after, tailed off and pulled up before 14th, in a race won by Prince Tom (11-12) at Newton Abbot 3m 2f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in Jul, 14 ran.
Celesta (IRE) 11-4fav (11-1) Tracked leaders, took keen hold, ridden over 6f out, every chance over 2f out, no impression on winner final furlong, stayed on same pace, 3rd of 9, 9l behind Jacks Last Hope (11-1) at Uttoxeter 2m NH flat (6) gd in Jun.
Vendredi Trois (FR) 80-1 (10-9) Towards rear, tailed off when went left final 3, 10th of 14, well behind Brother Brian (10-12) at Newbury 2m 3f NH nov hdl 4-6yo (4) sft in Dec.
Amberjam (IRE) 50-1 (10-6) Always behind, struggling 6th, tailed off 3 out, 5th of 10, well behind Full Throttle (11-0) at Southwell 3m mdn hdl (5) gd in Jun.
Moaning Butcher 33-1 (10-4) Tracked leaders, driven 3 out, soon ridden, no impression from next, 6th of 15, 13l behind Toe To Toe (10-4) at Worcester 2m hcp hdl 0-100 (5) gf in Jul.
Petrovic (IRE) 22-1 (10-9) Took keen hold tracking leaders, not fluent 3rd, jumped left next, weakened 3 out, 5th of 6, well behind Bonne Fee (10-12) at Bangor 2m 4f mdn hdl (5) gd.
Supapowers (IRE) 33-1 (10-12) Tracked winner, ridden and weakened 3 out, 4th of 6, 17l behind My Betty (10-12) at Southwell 2m 4f mrs nov hdl (4) gd in Jul.