with leader, pushed along after 4 out, soon weakened
led, headed before 3 out, soon weakened
held up in touch, ridden and weakened before 2 out
held up towards rear, headway 9th, ridden and hit last, headed flat, kept on and no chance with winner
tracked leader, weakened 4 out
held up in rear, headway before 3 out to chase leader, ridden before last, led run-in, stayed on strongly
Tidal Bay has bags of ability but also needs plenty of encouragement. If Ruby Walsh can keep him interested he could play a part here as Fair Along, winner of this in 2009 and 2010 but also better known as a chaser nowadays, will ensure this is run at a good pace. Restless Harry landed this contest 12 months ago but may struggle to give the weight away to some useful stayers here with Smad Place interesting if able to reproduce the form of his third in the Stayers' Hurdle at Cheltenham in March. CAPE TRIBULATION made giant strides over hurdles in the spring, completing a rare Cheltenham/Aintree double in big handicaps. He was just touched off under a big weight over 2m2f on the Flat at York three weeks ago and his proven fitness could be the deciding factor here. Crack Away Jack looked destined for the top as a four-year-old but has had his problems since and this trip may stretch his stamina.
Restless Harry 20-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders in 4th, in touch when fell 8th, in a race won by Big Buck's (11-7) at Aintree 3m hdl G1 (1) gs in Apr, 8 ran.
Cape Tribulation 12-1 (10-10) 10th of 12, well behind Thousand Stars (10-10) at Auteuil(FR) 3m 1f hdl G1 sft in Jun.
Smad Place (FR) 5-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders in 5th on inside, left 4th at 8th, in touch when fell 4 out, in a race won by Big Buck's (11-7) at Aintree 3m hdl G1 (1) gs in Apr, 8 ran.
Crack Away Jack 33-1 (11-7) Held up in rear in touch, hampered 8th, left 4th 4 out, went 2nd 2 out, kept on same pace, no chance with winner, 2nd of 8, 9l behind Big Buck's (11-7) at Aintree 3m hdl G1 (1) gs in Apr.
Fair Along (GER) 7-2fav (11-11) Led in start, led until headed 4th, lost place next, soon towards rear, rallied to 3rd 3 out, dropped to 4th and driven next, left 3rd again last, 3rd of 9, 7l behind Barel Of Laughs (10-7) at Ffos Las 3m 1f hcp chs (2) sft in Aug.
Tidal Bay (IRE) 9-1 (11-12) Held up towards rear, steady headway 16th, 3rd travelling well 4 out, went 2nd next, rider delayed challenge until led last, came clear flat, won at Sandown 3m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) sft in Apr beating Roalco De Farges (10-6) by 15l, 19 ran.