AT FISHERS CROSS hadn't jumped well before making a complete hash of the second-last on his reappearance at Newbury and being eased to a walk. But he was still within a length of eventual winner Celestial Halo at the time and would have probably have finished ahead of eventual third Reve de Sivola at the very least. The latter won this last year but is much better on really heavy going as a rule. With Celestial Halo's reported defection, Salubrious will now carry the hopes of the Nicholls team but he's yet to prove himself at the highest level. Likewise the mare Tweedledrum and Time For Rupert hasn't raced over hurdles since finishing runner-up to Big Buck's in the 2010 World Hurdle.
At Fishers Cross (IRE) 10-11fav (11-4) Not fluent, tracked leading pair, went right 2nd, went 2nd 3 out, trying to close in 2 lengths 2nd when sprawled badly on landing 2 out, not recover and eased, 4th of 5, 23l behind Celestial Halo (11-8) at Newbury 3m hdl G2 (1) sft in Nov.
Celestial Halo (IRE) 7-2 (11-8) Made all and always travelling well, clear after 2nd until approaching 2 out, left well clear 2 out, stayed on strongly, unchallenged, won at Newbury 3m hdl G2 (1) sft in Nov beating Medinas (11-4) by 17l, 5 ran.
Reve de Sivola (FR) 7-2 (11-8) Not always fluent, chased (clear) winner, bumped 2nd, hit 5th, pushed along before 3 out, lost 2nd and hit 3 out, soon outpaced by leading duo, went 2nd again betwen last 2, no chance with winner, lost 2nd last, kept on same pace flat, 3rd of 5, 18l behind Celestial Halo (11-8) at Newbury 3m hdl G2 (1) sft in Nov.
Salubrious (IRE) 3-1 (10-12) Led, clear before 7th, ridden approaching last, headed flat, no impression on winner towards finish, 2nd of 4, 2 1/4l behind More Of That (10-12) at Cheltenham 2m 4f hdl G2 (1) gd.
Time For Rupert (IRE) 3-1 (11-6) Tracked leaders in 4th, challenge before 4 out, weakening and hit 2 out, 4th of 6, 21l behind Silviniaco Conti (11-5) at Wetherby 3m 1f chs G2 (1) gs in Nov '12.
Tweedledrum 15-8fav (11-3) Tracked leaders in 3rd, went 2nd before 2 out, led run-in, kept on well, won at Plumpton 3m 1f mares hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd beating Cannon Fodder (11-7) by 1 1/4l, 5 ran.