AT FISHERS CROSS made giant strides last season after winning a handicap on this card 12 months ago. Rebecca Curtis' six-year-old won Grade 1 contests at Cheltenham and Aintree in the spring and this is his chance to stake a claim for the World Hurdle next year as he receives 4lb from Reve de Sivola, no match for the brilliant Big Bucks in this 12 months ago but successful in the Long Walk Hurdle subsequently. He was also second to Quevega at Punchestown last spring and won a Grade 1 at Auteuil earlier this month, though this looks a stronger contest. Celestial Halo had Reve de Sivola behind when second in last season's World Hurdle and will ensure there is a strong gallop while Medinas was only beaten a length in the bet365 Hurdle at Wetherby on his return to action. Battle Group took advantage of some lenient handicapping over hurdles and fences in the spring but was pulled up on his reappearance in Paddy Power Gold Cup and may be out his depth in the grade.
Celestial Halo (IRE) 8-1 (10-10) 6th of 14, 18l behind Gemix (10-5) at Auteuil(FR) 3m 1f hdl G1 (1) hvy in Jun.
Reve de Sivola (FR) (10-7) won at Auteuil(FR) 3m hdl G1 gs beating Lord Prestige (10-7) by 1l, 9 ran.
At Fishers Cross (IRE) 11-8fav (11-4) Held up in touch in mid-division, closed from 3rd, challenged going well after 4 out, led before 2 out, shaken up to go clear approaching last, ran on well, easily, won at Aintree 3m nov hdl Grade 1 (1) gs in Apr beating Just A Par (11-4) by 8l, 9 ran.
Battle Group 14-1 (10-13) Mid-division, lost place 9th, behind when pulled up before 11th, in a race won by Johns Spirit (10-2) at Cheltenham 2m 4f Grade 3 hcp chs (4yo+) (1) gd, 20 ran.
Medinas (FR) 9-4fav (11-4) Tracked leaders, not fluent 6th, jumped slowly and ridden 4 out, led before 3 out, went left last, headed close home, 2nd of 6, 1l behind Tidal Bay (11-8) at Wetherby 3m 1f hdl G2 (1) gs.