held up in touch, losing place when blundered 7th, soon reminders, pulled up before 3 out
led and keen, blundered 8th, headed approaching 2 out, no chance with winner
held up in touch, one pace from 2 out
held up, headway 11th, ridden and weakened approaching 2 out
held up in touch, weakened 4 out
tracked leader, led approaching 2 out, clear approaching last
LE DUC is put forward tentatively here ahead of Baby Run, former stablemate Kaldous, and Limerick Boy. Paul Nicholls has made a habit of placing his formerly smart chasers to good effect in early-season hunter chases, but this looks a tougher race than normal. Le Duc is selected, and assuming that he runs up to the form of his last start when a winner off a mark of 127, he could easily win this and so boost his Cheltenham Foxhunters' credentials. Kaldouas had to miss an engagement earlier in the week because of the weather and he is not to be overlooked here as his trainer would have a good horse if he is back to his best. Baby Run returns from a lengthy absence but the stable could be in better form; if he is at his best however he must be considered. Brooklyn Breeze has not had too many races and he has run ok on this sort of ground before, however the pick of his runs have come on good ground. Limerick Boy is another name to add to the shortlist as Venetia Williams' gelding gets weight from some of the main protagonists. He unseated his rider at Fontwell on his recent return to action and it remains to be seen what sort of form he is in. A competitive affair, but Le Duc can reign.
Tommy Spar 18-1 (11-12) In rear, hampered 1st and 7th, struggling from next, tailed off when pulled up in race won by Fieldsofclover (10-4) at Stratford 2m 7f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gf in Jun, 13 ran.
Baby Run (FR) 5-1 (11-6) Led, headed 6th, prominent, led approaching 2 out, narrowly headed when stumbled badly last, not recover, 3rd of 10, 8l behind Kalca Mome (11-1) at Cheltenham 2m hcp chs 0-150 (2) sft in Dec '06.
Brooklyn Breeze (IRE) 40-1 (10-10) Mid-division, reminders and lost place 10th, headway 5 out, led 2 out, ridden and edged right last, headed near finish, 2nd of 18, nk behind Eric's Charm (11-1) at Perth 3m hcp chs (2) gs in Apr.
In Hot Pursuit (IRE) 20-1 (12-0) A bhnd, 8th of 13, well behind Sparklinspirit (12-0) at Bredwardine 3m ptp gd in May.
Le Seychellois (FR) 13-2 (11-9) Close up, led 5th to 3 out, weakened quickly and tailed off pulled up at the last in race won by Jupiter's Fancy (11-4) at Sedgefield 2m 4f hts chs (6) gf in May, 10 ran.
Limerick Boy (GER) 7-4 (11-11) Prominent when fell at the 2nd in race won by Ofarel D'airy (11-11) at Fontwell 2m 6f hts chs (6) sft, 8 ran.
Kaldouas (FR) 7-2 (11-12) Close up, joined leaders 4 out, soon ridden, weakened quickly and pulled up 2 out in race won by Hermano Cordobes (10-1) at N Abbot 3m 2f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in Jul, 6 ran.
Le Duc (FR) 9-2fav (10-13) Mid-division, headway to lead 16th to 4 out, led after 3 out, not fluent next, hit last and soon headed, rallied to lead final 100 yards, won at Cheltenham 3m 1f hcp chs 0-145 (2) gs in Apr beating Mokum (10-5) by a shd, 11 ran.
Gulabill 10-1 (12-0) (tt) lost plce 13; kpt on frm 3 out, 3rd of 10, 11l behind Sykee Savage (12-0) at Cottenham 3m ptp gf in Dec.
Triple Seven (IRE) 16-1 (12-0) Poor 2nd when fell in race won by Backstreet Lad (12-0) at Barbury Castle 3m ptp sft in Jan, 13 ran.