VALDEZ has to concede weight all round but looks in a different league to the majority of his rivals. He rattled up a hat-trick in decent company before running well in the Arkle at Cheltenham when only beaten seven lengths by the winner. Eduard is probably the danger if Alan King's charge decides he's had enough for the season. He had little more than an exercise canter over course and distance last month and deserves a crack at this higher level. Miley Shah is improving with experience but his latest run was over a longer trip and he could get outpaced back over 2m. The other runners both have a bit to prove against younger rivals on these terms.
Valdez 10-1 (11-4) Tracked leaders, ridden and effort on outside before 2 out, kept on same pace and no impression flat, 5th of 9, 7l behind Western Warhorse (11-4) at Cheltenham 2m nov chs G1 (1) gs in Mar.
Eduard (IRE) 3-10fav (11-7) Tracked leader, blundered 4 out, led before and jumped left last, driven to go clear run-in, won at Ayr 2m nov chs (4) hvy in Mar beating Imjoeking (11-0) by 11l, 2 ran.
Miley Shah (IRE) 15-8 (11-8) Chased leaders, 3rd halfway, improved to 2nd 5 out, disputed next, ridden before 2 out, hung left under pressure, no extra in 2nd before last, kept on same pace, 2nd of 6, 4 1/2l behind Aupcharlie (11-8) at Clonmel 2m 4f chs hvy.
Reaping The Reward (IRE) 20-1 (11-2) Held up in rear, headway before 4 out, staying on when fell 3 out, in a race won by Shadows Lengthen (11-6) at Haydock 2m 4f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in Mar, 9 ran.
Aibrean (IRE) 7-1 (11-0) Held up early, mistake 1st, mid-division when mistake 4th, ridden 4 out, no impression leaders in 5th 3 out, veered badly left after 2 out and pulled up, in a race won by Byerley Babe (11-0) at Thurles 2m 4f (1) sft in Jan, 11 ran.