David Pipe has expressed doubts about whether this sharp track will suit THE LIQUIDATOR but the six-year-old, very impressive when winning a Grade 2 by 15 lengths at Cheltenham, may still have the class to prevail given he had the pace to win a Grade 1 bumper at Punchestown last season. Josses Hill made a confident start over hurdles at Newbury and probably has more scope than stablemate Royal Boy. He may be a bigger danger than Upazo, who may not have beaten much in two runs at Fairyhouse this season and didn't look anything special last year. Garde La Victoire couldn't match the speed of stayer Ballyalton at Cheltenham last time which suggests he'll also be found wanting here, though is still preferred to Creepy and Prince Siegfried.
Creepy (IRE) 5-1 (11-7) Took keen hold tracking leader, hit 2nd and next, soon lost 3rd, losing place when blundered and unseated rider 4 out, in a race won by Captain Cutter (11-7) at Newbury 2m 5f nov hdl Grade 1 (1) hvy in Dec, 6 ran.
Garde La Victoire (FR) 7-4fav (11-8) Stood at start for 20 seconds before getting going, tracked leaders, went 2nd 3 out, led narrowly before last, soon headed, looked held 100 yards out, rallied, just held, 2nd of 9, nk behind Ballyalton (11-8) at Cheltenham 2m 1f NH nov hdl 4-6yo (3) gd in Dec.
Josses Hill (IRE) Evensfav (11-0) In touch, headway to chase leaders approaching 2 out, went 2nd approaching last, soon challenging, shaken up to lead flat, kept on well, won at Newbury 2m mdn hdl (4) sft in Dec beating Communicator (11-0) by 3l, 22 ran.
Prince Siegfried (FR) 18-1 (11-4) Tracked leader, stumbled 4th, lost 2nd after 3 out, went 2nd again 2 out, led travelling well between last 2, narrowly headed but every chance when overjumped and fell heavily last, in a race won by Irving (11-7) at Ascot 2m nov hdl G2 (1) sft in Dec, 6 ran.
Royal Boy (FR) 7-4fav (11-0) Held up but in touch and always going well, smooth headway 6th, tracked leaders 4 out, went 2nd well before 2 out, upsides 2 out, led travelling well going to the last, soon clear, easily, won at Ascot 2m 6f NH mdn hdl (3) sft in Dec beating Big Hands Harry (11-0) by 6l, 9 ran.
The Liquidator 6-4 (11-4) Made all, clear 5th, landed awkwardly after overjumping 2 out, ridden approaching last, stayed on strongly, unchallenged, won at Cheltenham 2m nov hdl G2 (1) gd in Nov beating Sea Lord (11-7) by 15l, 4 ran.
Upazo (FR) Evensfav (11-6) Tracked leaders, went 2nd travelling smoothly from 2 out, led before last where left clear, stayed on well run-in, comfortably, won at Fairyhouse 2m hdl in Dec beating Fosters Cross (11-6) by 10l, 11 ran.