Grand Crus, second to champion staying hurdler Big Bucks both here and at Aintree in the spring, should develop into one of the season's leading novice chasers if his jumping stands up to scrutiny but may have to give best over this trip to CUE CARD. Hugely impressive when making virtually all the running at Chepstow last month, Colin Tizzard's gelding has had the form of that success franked by both the second and third since and he's an exciting prospect. Champion Court won nicely at Aintree but his jumping still looks a little suspect under pressure, while prolific pointer Dualla Lord faces top-class opposition on his first start over fences under Rules. Sybarite was surprisingly beaten in a four-runner race at Stratford but should improve and makes more appeal than the disappointing Zaynar. Vino Griego should win races over fences but it will be a surprise if he's good enough in the grade.
Champion Court (IRE) 2-1fav (11-3) Led until jumped carefully 1st, pressed leader, led again 10th, jumped right from next, mistake 2 out, in command when mistake last, stayed on well, won at Aintree 2m 4f nov chs (3) gd in Oct beating Saint Are (11-3) by 4 1/2l, 4 ran.
Cue Card 10-11fav (11-4) Mostly jumped well, took keen hold, made all at steady pace, not fluent 8th and next, joined 5 out, quickened to draw clear and in command from 3 out, kept on strongly, won at Chepstow 2m 3f nov chs (3) gd in Oct beating Micheal Flips (11-4) by 3 1/2l, 4 ran.
Dualla Lord (IRE) 5-4fav (11-0) Chased leaders, led 4 out, not fluent last, soon ridden, headed and no extra closing stages, 2nd of 10, 1l behind Rev It Up (11-0) at Chepstow 3m mdn hdl (5) gd in Oct.
Grands Crus (FR) (10-7) 6th of 10, 13l behind Thousand Stars (10-7) at Auteuil(FR) 3m 1f hdl G1 (1) sft in Jun.
Sybarite (FR) 4-5fav (11-4) Prominent, not fluent 5th, jumped slowly 7th, led 10th, reminder after 12th, not fluent 2 out, headed before last, stayed on, 2nd of 4, 3/4l behind Five Star Wilsham (11-4) at Stratford 2m 7f beg chs (4) gd in Oct.
Vino Griego (FR) 20-1 (11-5) Tracked leaders, led 10th, mistake and headed 12th, led again 3 out, headed narrowly between last 2, every chance last, no extra flat, lost 3rd near finish, 4th of 20, 6l behind Divers (11-4) at Cheltenham 2m 4f Listed Novice Handicap Chase (0-140) (5yo+) (1) gd in Mar.
Zaynar (FR) 5-2 (11-3) Tracked leaders, mistake 4 out, soon ridden, outpaced by front pair after next and no impression, 3rd of 6, 10l behind Lancetto (11-8) at Cheltenham 2m nov chs (2) gf in Oct.