Both Nacarat and Golan Way like to force the pace so there's unlikely to be any hanging around. That will test the stamina of last year's Arkle winner Captain Chris and Master Minded, who has never raced beyond 2m5f before but comfortably got the better of another dubious stayer, Somersby, over 2m3f at Ascot last month. Both have the class to figure if lasting home, however, though the form book suggests this should chiefly concern old rivals Kauto Star and LONG RUN. It's no surprise that Ruby Walsh has kept faith with the four-times King George winner after he beat Nicky Henderson's Gold Cup hero by eight lengths in the Betfair Chase at Haydock last month. But, now rising 12, he may have problems reproducing that form in successive races and his much younger rival is taken to come out on top today as he did in the rearranged race 11 months ago when winning by 12 lengths with Kauto Star and Nacarat in third and fourth. Diamond Harry will be staying on when others have cried enough and could run into a place if they go off too quickly.
Captain Chris (IRE) 2-1fav (11-10) Held up behind leaders, jumped right 2nd, not fluent 3rd or 6th, mistake 4 out, given time to recover, ridden and closed after 2 out, every chance when mistake last, rider unseated soon after, in a race won by Medermit (11-4) at Exeter 2m 1f ltd hcp chs Grd 2 (1) gd in Nov, 7 ran.
Diamond Harry 7-2 (11-7) Tracked leaders, pressed winner 5th to 8th, remained in touch, challenged 5 out, outpaced and lost 2nd next, ridden 2 out, weakened into 4th before last, 4th of 6, 18l behind Kauto Star (11-7) at Haydock 3m Grade 1 chs (1) gs in Nov.
Golan Way 12-1 (11-5) Made all, hit 7th, not fluent 4 out, ridden approaching last, stayed on gamely, in command from last, won at Sandown 3m Listed chs (1) gs beating Benbane Head (10-9) by 3 1/2l, 5 ran.
Kauto Star (FR) 6-1 (11-7) Made virtually all, driven 3 out, ridden after next, stayed on well to draw clear flat, won at Haydock 3m Grade 1 chs (1) gs in Nov beating Long Run (11-7) by 8l, 6 ran.
Long Run (FR) 6-5fav (11-7) Keen early, tracked leaders, joined winner 9th, blundered 11th, 3rd and under pressure when hit 13th, soon ridden, went 2nd 4 out, stayed on under pressure from next, well held flat, 2nd of 6, 8l behind Kauto Star (11-7) at Haydock 3m Grade 1 chs (1) gs in Nov.
Master Minded (FR) 2-1fav (11-11) Jumped well, tracked leading pair, disputed 2nd from 6th, went 2nd 12th, led 2 out, ridden before last, in command flat, driven out (no time taken), won at Ascot 2m 3f Grade 2 chs (4yo+) (1) gd in Nov beating Somersby (11-7) by 3l, 6 ran.
Nacarat (FR) 7-4 (11-10) Led, not fluent 3rd, mistake 13th, pushed along and headed 3 out, demoted to 3rd and beaten before last, 3rd of 4, 22l behind Master Of The Hall (11-5) at Aintree 3m 1f Listed chs (1) hvy.
Somersby (IRE) 5-4fav (11-6) Held up in rear in touch, close up 8th, 4th and outpaced before 2 out, chased winner approaching last, ridden and stayed on flat, always held, 2nd of 8, 4 1/2l behind Gauvain (11-6) at Huntingdon 2m 4f Grade 2 chs (4yo+) (1) gs.