Bobs Worth couldn't have been anywhere near his best in the Betfair at Haydock and is best remembered for his victories at Cheltenham and in the Hennessy at Newbury. The Gold Cup winner simply outstayed SIR DES CHAMP at Prestbury Park and had beaten First Lieutenant in the previous year's RSA Chase. Sir Des Champ went to Punchestown for their Gold Cup after Cheltenham and beat Long Run and First Lieutenant with Quito De La Roque a long way behind. He fell at the third on his reappearance at Punchestown but, providing he's none the worse, he can get back to winning ways. Paul Nicholls has won three of the last six and though Unioniste was disappointing behind today's rival Lord Windermere in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham he is much better than he showed that day and has more scope than most of his rivals. Rubi Ball is a multiple winner in France and, though narrowly beaten by Foildubh at Thurles on his debut for Willie Mullins, is by no means out of this.
Benefficient (IRE) 17-2 (11-5) Led until 13th, beaten when left 4th 3 out, weakened next, 4th of 7, 37l behind Harry Topper (11-6) at Wetherby 3m 1f chs Grd 2 (1) gs in Nov.
Bobs Worth (IRE) 15-8fav (11-7) Chased leaders, mistake 5 out, soon weakened, 6th of 8, 40l behind Cue Card (11-7) at Haydock 3m 1f chs G1 (1) sft in Nov.
First Lieutenant (IRE) 9-4fav (11-10) Chased leaders in 3rd early, 2nd from 7th, close up from next, pushed along in 3rd approaching 4 out, ridden entering straight, no extra in 4th before 2 out, kept on one pace, 4th of 6, 26l behind Roi Du Mee (11-10) at Down Royal 3m chs G1 (1) sft in Nov.
Foildubh (IRE) 11-1 (11-10) Led, joined from before 5th, headed approaching straight, 2nd when fell 3 out, in a race won by Twinlight (11-10) at Cork 2m chs Grd 2 (1) sft, 7 ran.
Lord Windermere (IRE) 7-1 (11-8) Towards rear, mistake 3rd, steady headway 12th, badly hampered 14th, pushed along in mid-division before 4 out, modest 6th 2 out, weakened from last, 8th of 21, 23l behind Triolo D'Alene (11-1) at Newbury 3m 2f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gd in Nov.
Lyreen Legend (IRE) 8-1 (11-10) Tracked leaders, badly hampered 5th, closer on outer in 3rd when slight mistake 3 out, soon ridden, no impression on leaders entering straight, kept on one paced from 2 out, 3rd of 8, 23l behind Mount Benbulben (11-10) at Punchestown 3m 1f nov chs G1 (1) sft in Apr.
Prince De Beauchene (FR) 16-1 (11-9) Held up in touch in mid-division, headway to chase leaders 11th, ridden and weakened soon after 3 out, 13th of 21, 31l behind Triolo D'Alene (11-1) at Newbury 3m 2f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gd in Nov.
Rubi Ball (FR) 1-2fav (11-0) Led, jumped a little left, not fluent 6th and headed, slight mistake next, challenged and on terms before 2 out, not fluent last and headed, rallied well, just failed,, 2nd of 7, hd behind Foildubh (11-10) at Thurles 2m 6f hdl gd in Nov.
Sir Des Champs (FR) 7-4 (11-10) Led, disputed from 2nd and headed approaching 3rd where fell, in a race won by Arvika Ligeonniere (11-10) at Punchestown 2m 4f chs G1 (1), 3 ran.
Unioniste (FR) 5-2fav (11-6) Tracked leaders on inside, not fluent 8th or 11th, hit 12th, not much room 13th, went 2nd 15th, not fluent 3 out, led approaching last, stayed on well, won at Aintree 3m 1f lst chs (1) gs beating Wishfull Thinking (11-10) by 7l, 6 ran.