It seems strange to see Dan Breen running in a Graduation chase as he's been around for quite a while. He's obviously an experienced campaigner but the suspicion lingers that he remains more effective over timber. SIMPLY NED was massively impressive when defying topweight to land an Ayr handicap on only his second chase start and remains a horse of considerable potential. This represents a major rise in grade but Nicky Richards rarely overfaces his charges and he could just be good enough. Shangani hasn't been in action since April but Venetia Williams has few peers at readying one first time up and he brings some very useful handicap chase form to the table. Fago folded tamely after travelling well in the Haldon Gold Cup and the jury remains out on the Nicholls gelding. He's the one to beat on official ratings but is unlikely to offer much in the way of value and is taken on accordingly.
Dan Breen (IRE) 14-1 (11-4) Mistakes in rear, never a factor, tailed off, 12th of 15, well behind Drumshambo (11-4) at Ascot 2m 1f listed hcp chs (1) gs.
Fago (FR) 9-1 (10-4) With leader, lost place and ridden after 4 out, soon beaten, last of 6, 38l behind Somersby (10-7) at Exeter 2m 1f hcp chs Grade 2 (1) gs.
Shangani (USA) 9-1 (11-4) Tracked leaders on inner in 4th, ridden and no impression in 8th approaching straight, no extra, 7th of 14, 27l behind Madam Bovary (10-3) at Punchestown 2m 5f nov chs hvy in Apr.
Simply Ned (IRE) 11-4fav (11-12) Held up mid-division, headway 5 out, went 2nd before 2 out, led before last, kept on well, won at Ayr 2m hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft beating Stormin Exit (11-1) by 3 1/2l, 8 ran.