Le Bacardy was engaged at Ascot yesterday and, in any case, is due to give 7lb to top-class staying hurdler SMAD PLACE. Alan King's six-year-old could easily develop into one of this season's best novices if his jumping is up to scratch and a clear round should see him in the winner's enclosure here. Superior Quality was also useful over hurdles and only found one too good on his chasing bow at Carlisle. He's preferred to the mare Hi Note and Le Reve, who had an unhappy experience before unseating his rider at Fakenham nine days ago.
Le Bacardy (FR) 5-2 (11-0) In touch, headway to join leaders 4 out, led narrowly before next, driven when left 15 lengths clear 2 out, unchallenged after, won at Kempton 2m beg chase (4) gd in May beating Synthe Davis (10-7) by 30l, 7 ran.
Le Reve (IRE) 10-1 (11-3) Tracked leader, jumped left first, unseated rider 3rd, in a race won by Wonderful Charm (11-3) at Fakenham 2m 5f nov chs (3) gd in Oct, 5 ran.
Smad Place (FR) 5-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders, led before 2 out, ridden and headed before last, kept on, 3rd of 13, 4 1/2l behind Solwhit (11-7) at Aintree 3m hdl G1 (1) gs in Apr.
Superior Quality (IRE) 5-6fav (11-4) In touch, slow 3rd, soon lost place, slow 5th, headway to chase leaders 9th, travelling strongly 2 out, effort last, one pace, 2nd of 7, 4l behind Beeves (11-4) at Carlisle 2m 4f nov chs (4) gd in Oct.
Hi Note 5-1 (10-10) Tracked leader, led 4th, ridden before 2 out, kept on and headed towards finish, 2nd of 7, nk behind Princely Player (10-12) at Fontwell 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-145 (2) gd in Oct.
Asian Prince (IRE) 12-1 (11-9) Held up mid-division, pushed along after 4 out, soon weakened, 12th of 16, well behind Anton Dolin (11-2) at Worcester 2m 4f nov hcp hdl 0-100 (5) gf in Jun.