Theatre Guide ran a cracker when third in the Hennessy and has only been raised a couple of pounds. He'll probably start favourite but a bit of rain would aid his cause and would also help Emperor's Choice. This may be too tough for Pigeon Island while Knockara Beau has been raised a further 3lb since finishing second to Alvarado over a longer trip here last month. There's just a chance that fourth Monbeg Dude could reverse the form now, though he's an out-and-out stayer and another who enjoys a soft surface. QUENTIN COLLONGES unseated his rider at the last in the same race but had run well for a long way on his first start since winning the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown in April. Henry Daly's grey made giant strides last season and can open his account in the current campaign here. Ascot runner-up Duke Of Lucca is also worth a second look, as is the returning Prince Of Pirates, but Burton Port is looking a shadow of his former self.
Burton Port (IRE) 16-1 (11-12) Held up behind, struggling 4 out, never dangerous, tailed off, 12th of 13, well behind Alvarado (10-0) at Cheltenham 3m 3f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gd in Nov.
Knockara Beau (IRE) 25-1 (10-13) Tracked leader, lost place when hit 4 out, headway on inside approaching 2 out, ridden and rallied flat, went 2nd near finish, not reach winner, 2nd of 13, 2l behind Alvarado (10-0) at Cheltenham 3m 3f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gd in Nov.
Theatre Guide (IRE) 33-1 (10-13) Held up towards rear, steady headway 16th, went 3rd approaching 2 out, edged left approaching last, hung left and kept on same pace flat, 3rd of 21, 4 1/2l behind Triolo D'Alene (11-1) at Newbury 3m 2f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gd in Nov.
Quentin Collonges (FR) 9-1 (10-11) Mistake 1st, mid-division in touch on outside, mistake 11th, chased leaders 4 out, ridden and effort after next, one pace 2 out, beaten when mistake and unseated rider last, in a race won by Alvarado (10-0) at Cheltenham 3m 3f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gd in Nov, 13 ran.
Prince Of Pirates (IRE) 14-1 (11-6) In touch on inside, outpaced 17th, ridden and weakened after 2 out (usual 3 out), 11th of 24, 33l behind Same Difference (11-0) at Cheltenham 3m 1f (2) gs in Mar.
Monbeg Dude (IRE) 10-1 (10-6) Mistake 1st, towards rear, headway 4 out, led 2 out, not fluent last, ridden and headed flat, no extra towards finish, 4th of 13, 4 1/2l behind Alvarado (10-0) at Cheltenham 3m 3f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gd in Nov.
Duke Of Lucca (IRE) 15-2 (11-12) Mid-division, headway and in touch on outside 13th, challenged 4 out, led narrowly 2 out, ridden and headed when not fluent last, no impression with winner flat, just held on for 2nd, 2nd of 12, 4 1/2l behind Night Alliance (10-2) at Ascot 3m hcp chs 0-135 (3) gs in Nov.
Pigeon Island 16-1 (11-2) Held up in rear, headway 4 out, chased leaders 2 out, never able to challenge, 5th of 12, 10l behind Sydney Paget (10-13) at Haydock 3m 1f hcp chs 0-145 (2) sft in Nov.
Emperor's Choice (IRE) 4-1fav (11-12) Close up, led before 3rd, headed 5th, ridden after 2 out, not fluent last, soon weakened, 6th of 10, 17l behind Boyfromnowhere (10-12) at Fontwell 3m 4f hcp chs 0-135 (3) hvy in Nov.
Aimigayle 3-1 (11-12) Led, ridden and headed 3 out, soon weakened, 3rd of 5, 20l behind Tweedledrum (11-3) at Plumpton 3m 1f mares hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd.