CUE CARD will be all-the-rage here and can justify his lofty reputation. The Champion Bumper winner was reported to have schooled well ahead of his much-anticipated hurdling bow at Aintree but, even allowing for that, the way he jumped was particularly impressive. Unsurprisingly for a horse who has won over 14 furlongs he travelled with great zest before putting the race to bed without breaking sweat, so we're not worried about the drop in trip, and there really is no telling how far he might go. Dunraven Storm wasn't in the same parish as our selection in the Champion Bumper but he's taken to hurdling exceptionally well and his extra experience may help bridge the gap but he'll be better when upped in trip and may prove just short of top-class along with Owen Glendower, who is a touch flattered by his BHA rating. Ballyadam Brook ran well in his attempt to give weight away at Tipperary and adds a fascinating angle to the race along with the unexposed King Of The Night.
Ballyadam Brook (IRE) 3-1fav (11-8) Attempted to make all, not fluent 3rd, ridden and under pressure when not fluent 2 out, soon headed, kept on same pace from last, 2nd of 11, 2 1/2l behind Oilily (10-10) at Tipperary 2m nov hdl Grd 3 (1) in Oct.
Cue Card 1-2fav (10-12) Took keen hold, held up in 6th, smooth headway 4 out, led on bit next, clear when went left last, unextended, impressive, won at Aintree 2m 4f NH nov hdl 4-6yo (3) gs in Oct beating Dear Sam (10-12) by 13l, 8 ran.
Dunraven Storm (IRE) 11-8fav (11-3) Led approaching 2nd, challenged when not fluent 2 out, soon ridden, ran on well, won at Ascot 2m nh nov hdl (2) gd in Oct beating Recession Proof (11-3) by 4l, 6 ran.
Far Away So Close (IRE) 11-10fav (11-6) Made most, mistake 3 out, ridden next, mistake at last and headed, rallied to regain lead close home, won at Punchestown 2m nh nov hdl gd in Oct beating Hazeymm (11-9) by nk, 8 ran.
King Of The Night (GER) 5-2 (11-0) Held up towards rear on outside, steady headway to track leader 3 out, challenged between last 2, led last, drew clear on bit flat, comfortably, won at Cheltenham 2m mdn hdl (3) gd in Oct beating Fiulin (11-0) by 9l, 9 ran.
Maska Pony (IRE) 9-2fav (11-5) Led, hit 2 out, soon hard pressed and headed narrowly last, regained lead flat, kept on gamely, won at Wetherby 2m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gd in Oct beating Amazing King (10-10) by 1/2l, 12 ran.
Owen Glendower (IRE) 4-6fav (11-4) Tracked leaders, blundered 2nd, led approaching 2 out, ridden when not fluent last, ran on, won at Stratford 2m NH nov hdl 4-6yo (3) gs in Oct beating Mister Hyde (10-12) by 2 1/2l, 15 ran.
Valid Point (IRE) 33-1 (11-0) Always in last trio, tailed off 4 out, last of 15, well behind Arthurian Legend (11-0) at Chepstow 2m mdn hdl (5) gs.