FAR WEST pulled 12 lengths clear of Handazan on his UK debut at Chepstow in October with Mr Lando a distant fourth. He did have the benefit of previous experience that day and is 4lb worse off here with the runner-up but Alan King's charge may still struggle to reverse the form, despite getting off the mark himself at Aintree shortly after, as the selection was even more impressive when landing a Grade 2 over this track and trip next time when Dovils Date was a well-beaten fourth. Tidal Way is upped in class after victories at Bangor and Ludlow and may struggle to complete the hat-trick.
Far West (FR) 15-8 (11-2) Led and took keen hold, went right 1st, settled in 2nd before next, led again soon after next, ridden and 1 length ahead last, driven and stayed on strongly, came clear flat, won at Cheltenham 2m 3yo hdl (1) sft in Nov beating Vasco Du Ronceray (11-2) by 7l, 8 ran.
Dovils Date 14-1 (11-2) In touch, hit 3rd, headway to chase leaders 5th, ridden and weakened approaching 3 out, 5th and no chance when blundered next, went modest 4th post, 4th of 8, 36l behind Far West (11-2) at Cheltenham 2m 3yo hdl (1) sft in Nov.
Handazan (IRE) 3-1 (11-0) Led, wandered into 1st, not fluent next, jumped slowly 4th, ridden approaching 3 out, headed next, hampered last, led again flat, all out, won at Aintree 2m 1f 3yo hdl (4) sft in Oct beating For Two (11-5) by 4l, 7 ran.
Mr Lando 7-1 (11-5) Took keen hold in 4th, went 3rd and mistake 2nd, chased leader after 3 out, led 2 out, hit last, headed flat, stayed on same pace, 2nd of 7, 2 1/2l behind Whipcrackaway (10-12) at Fontwell 2m 2f 3yo hdl (4) sft.
Tidal Way (IRE) 10-11fav (11-5) Tracked leaders, not fluent 6th, soon went 2nd, led when not fluent 3 out, ridden and edged left after last, stayed on, won at Ludlow 2m 3yo hdl (4) gd in Nov beating Vasco D'ycy (10-12) by 2l, 10 ran.