held up in last pair, closed from 13th, blundered 4 out, went 1 length 2nd last, stayed on well, closing on winner towards finish, just held
tracked winner, pushed along before 4 out, driven after 2 out, lost 1 length 2nd last, stayed on, no extra final 75 yards
chased leaders on outside, pushed along after 13th, mistake 15th, soon outpaced, weakened after 2 out, blundered last
jumped well, made all, quickened pace from 12th, ridden after 2 out, 1 length up last, just held on
tracked leaders, bumped 2nd, mistake 14th, outpaced from 2 out, no impression in 4th before last
in touch towards rear, hampered 2nd, hit 8th, closed 13th, mistake next, soon lost place, struggling in last when mistake 4 out, left behind 3 out, pulled up before last
tracked leaders on inside, jumped right 2nd, ridden after 3 out, one pace from next, weakened before last
Holywell won the Grade 1 novice event at this meeting 12 months ago and ran well for fourth in the Gold Cup at The Festival. He must go well in this with A P McCoy back on board but last year's winner SILVINIACO CONTI (NAP) can be readily forgiven his run at Cheltenham as he just doesn't seem to handle the undulations. His form on flatter tracks, including another victory in the King George at Kempton in December when Menorah was well beaten, is easily the best on offer and Paul Nicholls' star chaser can bounce back. Smad Place never really figured in the Gold Cup and usually falls short at this level but Ma Filleule can't be ignored. She was the only one to make a race of it with Uxizandre in the Ryanair but she was only third over this track and trip in December, when Holywell unseated his rider, and is better over shorter distances.
Ballynagour (IRE) 25-1 (11-10) Held up and behind, headway approaching 17th, soon chasing leaders, pushed along and weakening when blundered 4 out, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Many Clouds (11-6) at Newbury 3m 2f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) sft in Nov, 19 ran.
Holywell (IRE) 8-1 (11-10) Tracked leaders, not fluent 17th, pushed along 4 out, ridden to dispute 3rd after next, kept on same pace, no impression in 4th from 2 out, 4th of 16, 10l behind Coneygree (11-10) at Cheltenham 3m 2f chs G1 (1) sft in Mar.
Menorah (IRE) 8-1 (11-10) In touch, pushed along 5out, blundered badly next, no chance after, 8th of 10, well behind Silviniaco Conti (11-10) at Kempton 3m Grade 1 chs (4yo+) (1) gs in Dec.
Silviniaco Conti (FR) 3-1fav (11-10) Held up in touch on inside, tracked leaders 5 out, driven and outpaced in 6th 3 out, soon beaten, 7th of 16, 27l behind Coneygree (11-10) at Cheltenham 3m 2f chs G1 (1) sft in Mar.
Smad Place (FR) 25-1 (11-10) Mid-division, outpaced 5 out, never on terms with leaders, 8th of 16, 28l behind Coneygree (11-10) at Cheltenham 3m 2f chs G1 (1) sft in Mar.
Vukovar (FR) 7-1 (11-7) Led until 4th, remained prominent, every chance when pecked on landing 3 out, weakened well before next, 9th of 10, 47l behind Dodging Bullets (11-7) at Sandown 2m Grade 1 chs (4yo+) (1) sft in Dec.
Ma Filleule (FR) 5-1 (11-3) Mid-division, headway 4th, went 2nd after 3 out, driven before last, stayed on flat, no impression on winner final 100 yards, 2nd of 14, 5l behind Uxizandre (11-10) at Cheltenham 2m 5f Grade 1 chs (1) gd in Mar.