If he's in the form he was when winning last Sunday, it's going to take a very well-handicapped horse to beat GRANDS CRUS, himself some way ahead of the assessor following that Cheltenham romp. David Pipe's inmate had looked nicely treated on his effort behind Fred Winter winner Sanctuaire last year and didn't let his supporters down, in the process landing a nice touch. The step up to this trip seems sure to bring about further improvement and he can take care of James de Vassy, off the track since taking a fine third at the Festival in March. He's up just 1lb for that and is another who could improve for the trip; time is certainly on his side. Similar comments apply to Peveril who is capable of better and these unexposed types are taken to fare better than the likes of Khachaturian and Ballyfitz now they return to hurdles, Tasheba and Hills Of Aran who appear in the handicapper's grip and Captain Americo who has gone up over a stone for winning a lesser race.
Ballyfitz 15-2 (10-12) Mid-division, towards rear when mistakes 10th and next, ridden in mid-division 15th, no chance when blundered 3 out, tailed off, 8th of 17, well behind Midnight Chase (11-9) at Cheltenham 3m 3f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gs.
Tasheba 9-1 (11-7) Mid-division, headway 4 out, chased leading pair next, soon driven, left clear 3rd when hampered 2 out, kept on same pace, no impression with front pair approaching last, 3rd of 9, 32l behind Working Title (11-3) at Kempton 2m 5f hcp hdl (2) gd.
Hills Of Aran 50-1 (11-12) Close up, ridden after 5 out, outpaced approaching 4 out, kept on and switched right approaching last, no impression, 4th of 13, 15l behind Any Given Day (10-8) at Chepstow 2m 4f Listed hcp hdl (1) sft in Oct.
James de Vassy (FR) 16-1 (11-4) In touch, effort when left close up 3rd 2 out, soon ridden, kept on under pressure flat, no impression, 3rd of 28, 7l behind Spirit River (11-2) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) gd in Mar.
Peveril 5-1 (11-3) Tracked leaders, driven and outpaced after 3 out, ridden next, stayed on under pressure approaching last, 4th of 24, 7l behind Pause And Clause (11-10) at Cheltenham 2m 4f hcp (2) sft in Mar.
Khachaturian (IRE) 12-1 (11-4) Led to 3rd, remained close up until fell 11th, in a race won by Burton Port (11-4) at Aintree 3m 1f nov chs G2 (1) gd in Apr, 10 ran.
Captain Americo (IRE) 11-2 (11-4) Raced keenly, tracked leaders, headway to lead 2 out, stayed on well to go clear flat, won at Kelso 3m 3f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd beating Rambling Minster (11-12) by 9l, 11 ran.
Auroras Encore (IRE) 7-1 (11-7) Tracked leader until 4th, ridden and weakened after 3 out, 5th of 6, 27l behind Keki Buku (11-2) at Market Rasen 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) sft.
Lord Generous 15-8fav (11-1) Led to 6th, led again 10th, pushed along after 6 out, ridden and headed 4 out, weakened next, 5th of 6, 29l behind Keel Road (10-8) at Chepstow 3m beg chs (4) sft in Oct.
According To Pete 11-2 (11-7) Held up towards rear, blundered 7th, headway approaching and jumped slow 8th, plugged on from 4 out, took 4th after last, no impression, 4th of 9, 23l behind Neptune Equester (10-4) at Wetherby 2m 4f listed hcp chs (1) gd in Oct.
Fruity O'Rooney 5-6fav (11-3) Mostly jumped well, pecked 4 out, stayed on well flat, ridden and always just doing enough towards finish (no time taken), won at Fontwell 2m 4f beg chs (4) gd in Oct beating Double Dash (11-3) by 1 1/4l, 5 ran.
Grands Crus (FR) 5-1 (10-13) Close up, chased leading pair 4 out, led 2 out, clear before last, driven out, won at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-140 (2) gs beating For Non Stop (10-12) by 6l, 17 ran.
Barafundle (IRE) 40-1 (10-8) Tracked leaders, led approaching 4 out, headed soon after, ridden to lead again 3 out, headed approaching last, no chance with winner, 2nd of 21, 6l behind Picture This (10-7) at Haydock 3m 1f hcp hdl (2) gd in May.
Backbord (GER) 14-1 (10-7) Chased leaders until not keen lost place and in rear 7th, stayed on approaching 2 out, went 3rd after last, kept on well flat, 3rd of 13, 4l behind Cross Kennon (10-11) at Cheltenham 3m 1f Listed hcp hdl (1) gs.
Red Harbour (IRE) 15-8fav (10-12) Prominent, hampered 3 out, weakened after last, 5th of 7, 12l behind Andytown (11-12) at Ayr 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-150 (2) gd in Apr.
The Shy Man (IRE) 25-1 (10-11) Mid-division, headway on outside and in touch 8th, challenged 3 out, led going well between last 2, ridden clear flat, won at Aintree 3m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs in Oct beating Racing Demon (11-12) by 11l, 13 ran.
Chester Lad 16-1 (10-3) Tracked leaders, hit 5th and 7th, lost place when mistake 3 out, soon weakened, tailed off, 9th of 14, well behind Amber Brook (10-13) at Cheltenham 3m hcp hdl (2) gd in Oct.
Thelobstercatcher 16-1 (10-12) In touch, smooth headway 4 out, led before next, drew readily clear from 2 out, comfortably, won at Chepstow 3m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft beating Pavillon Bleu (11-9) by 5l, 13 ran.