pushed along briefly early on outer, soon prominent, 2nd halfway, led approaching 2 out, carried right by loose horse straight, headed and kept on without matching winner inside final furlong
prominent early, 9th halfway, closed up again and not fluent 3 out, slight mistake 2 out, carried right straight, soon effort, kept on without matching front trio inside final furlong
in rear, impeded before 5th, not fluent 6th, slightly impeded 10th, headway from before 2 out, switched right early straight, soon carried right, effort and every chance final furlong, kept on without quite matching front pair
Paul Nicholls won this back in 2008 and sends Sandown Grade 2 winner Black Corton with top weight this time under Bryony Frost. The eight-year-old had a run in the Queen Alexandra at Ascot to warm up for this. The stable also run Modus, who hasn't run since Cheltenham but goes well fresh as he showed when landing a major handicap there in October. Dan Skelton's Azzuri has yet to prove he stays this far but looked smart when landing a Listed handicap at Ayr while Regal Encore, another from the UK, has dropped to a fair mark. Peregrine Run has been in brilliant form over hurdles and fences and though well beaten in this a year ago has obviously improved markedly. Paul Townend has chosen the classy Yorkhill of Willie Mullins' trio, plus reserve, while Gordon Elliott has five entries. Borice, three times a winner over fences in France, looks to have been laid out for this and his chase mark has been protected with two facile victories over hurdles. There's every chance of much more to come but in a wide-open handicap the vote goes to POKER PARTY. Henry De Bromhead has won this twice in recent years, on both occasions with a horse who had his previous race at the Punchestown Festival. His overall form gives him a bit to find but he can make further progress and land this lucrative prize under Rachael Blackmore.
Black Corton (FR) 10-1 (9-2) Led, ridden and headed turning into straight, weakened final furlong, 8th of 11, 20 1/4l behind Cleonte (9-2) at Ascot 2m 6f stks (2) gd in Jun.
Coney Island (IRE) 25-1 (11-10) Held up towards rear, driven and outpaced after 3 out, ridden after next, never able to get on terms with leaders, 6th of 12, 13 1/2l behind Frodon (11-10) at Cheltenham 2m 5f (1) gs in Mar.
Peregrine Run (IRE) Evensfav (11-0) Held up behind leaders, 3rd halfway, improved to dispute entering straight, pushed along to lead narrowly before 2 out, kept on well run-in, comfortably, won at Cork 2m 4f gd in Jul beating Doctor Duffy (11-10) by 3/4l, 6 ran.
Mengli Khan (IRE) 8-1 (9-6) In touch, ridden over 2f out, weakened final furlong, 12th of 19, 24 1/4l behind The Grand Visir (9-10) at Ascot 2m 4f hcp stks (2) gs in Jun.
Yorkhill (IRE) (10-10) 11th of 12, 24 1/2l behind Benie Des Dieux (10-5) at Auteuil 3m 1f hvy in May.
A Toi Phil (FR) 14-1 (11-12) Towards rear, some slight mistakes, no impression approaching straight, one pace, 10th of 13, 23l behind Static Jack (10-0) at Killarney 2m 7f hcp gd in Jul.
Heron Heights (IRE) 12-1 (11-6) Mid-division, closer in 4th at halfway, improved to dispute 2nd when left disputing lead 2 out and ridden, strongly pressed at last, led after last, stayed on well inside final furlong, won at Punchestown 3m 1f hcp Good - Yielding in May beating Onefortheroadtom (10-1) by 6 1/2l, 10 ran.
The West's Awake (IRE) 4-1 (11-6) Held up behind leaders, mainly 3rd, improved to challenge after 3 out, disputed next, soon ridden, upsides and every chance when fell last, at Down Royal 2m 4f Yielding in Jun.
Azzuri 5-2fav (10-2) Made all, quickened readily clear before 3 out (usual 4 out), in no danger after, driven out, eased towards finish, very easily, won at Ayr 2m hcp lst (1) gd in Apr beating Vosne Romanee (11-7) by 9l, 12 ran.
Modus 20-1 (11-3) Behind, mistake 5th, hit 10th, struggling 4 out, no chance when blundered next, soon weakened, 16th of 22, dist behind Siruh Du Lac (10-11) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp (1) gs in Mar.
Regal Encore (IRE) 12-1 (11-10) Mid-division, mistake at 14th, headway from 6 out, went 3rd and mistake 4 out, improved to dispute lead travelling well before 2 out, mistake and headed 2 out, ridden and soon no impression on winner, kept on same pace in 2nd inside final furlong, 2nd of 17, 18l behind Cloudy Morning (9-10) at Punchestown 3m 7f hcp Good - Yielding in May.
Snugsborough Benny (IRE) 7-1 (10-5) Soon chased leaders, effort straight, one pace from before 2 out, 9th of 13, 20 3/4l behind Static Jack (10-0) at Killarney 2m 7f hcp gd in Jul.
Auvergnat (FR) 9-1 (11-9) Rear, 12th after 9th, headway before 4 out, 6th after 4 out, progress to 3rd after 2 out, soon ridden, improved to 2nd run-in, kept on, no chance with winner, 2nd of 12, 8l behind Swingbridge (10-4) at Killarney 3m 2f hcp gd in May.
Pravalaguna (FR) 3-1 (11-7) Led, slight mistake 4 out, pressed next, headed before 2 out, soon switched right, kept on same pace from between last 2, 2nd of 4, 5 1/2l behind Shanning (10-9) at Killarney 2m 4f gd in Jul.
Crosshue Boy (IRE) 14-1 (11-2) Held up in touch in 5th, ridden in moderate 4th after 3 out, moderate 3rd 2 out, kept on one pace, 3rd of 6, 16 1/2l behind Peregrine Run (11-12) at Wexford 2m 4f gd in Jul.
Poker Party (FR) 8-1 (10-11) Tracked leaders, 5th when left 3rd 4 out, ridden in 3rd next, moderate 4th 2 out and no impression on leaders, went 3rd close hom, 3rd of 12, 18 1/2l behind Real Steel (11-10) at Punchestown 2m 5f hcp Good - Yielding in May.
Barra (FR) 10-1 (11-4) Soon mid-division, slight mistake 5th, closed up to be prominent before 3 out, soon on terms, led before 2 out, soon asserted and went on, clear and fell last, at Kilbeggan 3m 1f hcp Yielding in Jul.
Valseur Lido (FR) 40-1 (10-5) Mid-division early, impeded 6th, 23rd after 12th, soon no danger, pulled up 4 out, at Fairyhouse 3m 5f Good - Yielding in Apr.
Borice (FR) (11-4) Made all, drew clear 4 out, unchallenged, very easily, won at Perth 2m 4f (4) gs in Jul beating Bialco (11-10) by 33l, 4 ran.
Ravenhill (IRE) 9-2 (11-3) Soon close up, a little keen, disputed at times from after 7th, led run-in and stayed on well, won at Limerick 2m 6f hcp gd in Jul beating Mindsmadeup (10-7) by 1 3/4l, 16 ran.
Pylonthepressure (IRE) 9-1 (10-5) Towards rear, not fluent 1st, 12th from halfway, good progress to chase leaders on outer from 6 out, improved to dispute lead from 3 out and soon led, strongly pressed and ridden from last, headed close home and kept on without matching winner, 2nd of 15, hd behind Peregrine Run (11-10) at Ballinrobe 2m 7f hcp gd in May.
Movewiththetimes (IRE) 16-1 (11-2) Chased leaders, ridden after 4 out, 6th and no impression when mistake 2 out, weakened after, 8th of 20, 31 3/4l behind A Plus Tard (11-5) at Cheltenham 2m 4f hcp lst (1) sft in Mar.
Drumcliff (IRE) 14-1 (10-8) Tracked leaders, progress to lead halfway, headed and fell 6 out, at Galway 2m 7f hcp Yielding in Aug.
Mill Quest (IRE) 12-1 (11-7) Soon mid-division, not fluent 3rd, some headway to chase leaders 9th, closed up to be prominent before 3 out, slight mistake 2 out, no extra and one pace after, 7th of 12, 28 3/4l behind Na Trachtalai Abu (10-12) at Kilbeggan 3m 1f hcp Yielding in Jul.
Some Neck (FR) 9-1 (11-9) Rear of mid-division, mistakes, bad mistake 11th, ridden in 7th and mistake 3 out, moderate 7th and jumped left 2 out, no impression, 5th of 17, 25l behind Cloudy Morning (9-10) at Punchestown 3m 7f hcp Good - Yielding in May.