Another cracking race in prospect despite the dearth of runners and, while we know all about the abilities of the giant Calgary Bay we will take him on with potential shooting star ROCK NOIR. Jonjo O'Neill's five-year-old disappointed on his chase debut at Huntingdon but intensive schooling saw him get in right in beating Phidippides (rated 140 over hurdles) in a decent Exeter race last week. He was much more fluent there and won with a fair bit in hand. Conditions and trip look ideal for him right now and he can continue up the ranks. Calgary Bay ran in the Gold Cup in March and the Charlie Hall last time out, being well beaten on both occasions, and this drop back to a much shorter trip does not look ideal. He is vulnerable and Fiendish Flame may actually prove a bigger danger after a nice introduction at Ascot.
Atouchbetweenacara (IRE) 14-1 (10-10) With leader, blundered and lost place 8th, behind from 4 out, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Great Endeavour (10-1) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) gs in Mar, 24 ran.
Calgary Bay (IRE) 7-1 (11-4) Held up towards rear, headway 11th, ridden after 13th, beaten 4 out, weakened approaching 2 out, 6th of 8, 19l behind Nacarat (11-0) at Wetherby 3m 1f chs Grd 2 (1) gd in Oct.
Fiendish Flame (IRE) 8-1 (11-4) Led until 4 out, driven when hit next, stayed on under pressure, no chance with winner, 2nd of 10, 12l behind Safari Journey (10-8) at Ascot 2m 1f listed hcp chs (1) gd in Oct.
Rock Noir (FR) 9-2 (11-1) Held up in 4th, not fluent 5th, went 3rd after 7th, challenged 3 out, led going best next, edged slightly right after last, always doing enough, ridden out towards finish, won at Exeter 2m 1f nov chs (2) gs beating Phidippides (11-1) by 1l, 4 ran.