Enda Bolger used to farm the cross-country races here but his influence has diminished in recent years and neither of his runners today, Zest For Life and Keep On Track, make much appeal. Chicago Grey is hard to predict nowadays but did finish ahead of Sire Collonges and Zest For Life here four weeks ago, though has it all to do to reverse that running with third ANY CURRENCY. Martin Keighley's charge finished almost five lengths ahead of Gordon Elliott's grey and is now 11lb better off. A similar effort should make him tough to beat. Shalimar Fromentro has run well in cross-country races before while Pasquini Rouge finished well ahead of stablemate Taiga Des Chambres at Saumur in October and looks the best of the French challengers. Imperial Circus won at Ludlow two runs ago but is tackling this unique course for the first time today.
Chicago Grey (IRE) 15-2 (11-8) Tracked leaders, blundered and lost place 21st, soon behind, ridden and kept on under pressure approaching last, never troubled leaders, 5th of 11, 11l behind Balthazar King (11-8) at Cheltenham 3m 7f crs cntry chs (5yo+) (2) gd in Nov.
Sire Collonges (FR) 9-1 (11-8) Mid-division, outpaced 3 out, ridden and kept on same pace under pressure approaching last, never troubled leaders, 6th of 11, 12l behind Balthazar King (11-8) at Cheltenham 3m 7f crs cntry chs (5yo+) (2) gd in Nov.
Qulinton (FR) 20-1 (10-7) Prominent, not fluent 1st, led 2nd until hit 5th, mistakes 7th and 8th, soon weakened, tailed off, 19th of 20, well behind Trackmate (11-4) at Cheltenham 3m hcp hdl (2) gd in Oct.
Zest For Life (IRE) 20-1 (11-5) Led to 12th, with winner, mistake 19th, lost place 22nd, weakened 3 out, 8th of 11, 42l behind Balthazar King (11-8) at Cheltenham 3m 7f crs cntry chs (5yo+) (2) gd in Nov.
Any Currency (IRE) 28-1 (11-5) With leaders to 10th, in touch, went 2nd again 22nd, outpaced 3 out, ridden and kept on same pace from next, no impression in 3rd flat, 3rd of 11, 6l behind Balthazar King (11-8) at Cheltenham 3m 7f crs cntry chs (5yo+) (2) gd in Nov.
Shalimar Fromentro (FR) (10-9) in a race won by Orphee Des Blins (10-5) at Pardubice(CZE) 4m 2f in Oct, 20 ran.
Pasquini Rouge (FR) (11-4) in a race won by Un Vendeen (10-5) at Nantes(FR) 2m 3f 5yo hdl sft in Oct, 15 ran.
Taiga Des Chambres (FR) (11-7) won at Compiegne(FR) 2m 7f chs sft in Sep beating Torpille D'ainay (11-9) by nk, 7 ran.
Jacks Island (IRE) 16-1 (11-12) Tracked leaders, pushed along in 6th from 5 out, no impression from before straight, moderate 9th 2 out, kept on one pace,, 6th of 15, 20l behind Afatcat (10-11) at Clonmel 2m hcp hdl 80-102.
Imperial Circus (IRE) 14-1 (10-5) Prominent on inside, ridden approaching 3 out, lost place before next, soon weakened, 8th of 10, 31l behind Handy Andy (10-5) at Cheltenham 3m am hcp chs 0-140 (3) gd in Nov.
Keep On Track (IRE) 12-1 (11-7) Prominent, led from 20th, leading and every chance when slipped up on bend before 2 out, in a race won by Love Rory (11-2) at Punchestown 3m crs cntry chs (5yo+) in Nov, 13 ran.
Save My Blushes 14-1 (11-8) Held up towards rear, pushed along before 7th, never a factor, 6th of 8, 45l behind Zarzal (11-11) at Ludlow 2m hcp chs 0-125 (3) gs in Nov.
Quercy Du Manoir (FR) (11-0) 4th of 14, 11l behind Sucess Des Dunes (10-10) at Le Pin Du Haras(FR) 3m 2f chs sft in Oct.