Tidal Bay won this last year and went on to take the Grade 1 Lexus Chase at Leopardstown before injury curtailed his season. Paul Nicholls' veteran won't be far away again if fully wound-up but could be up against a potential champion stayer here in AT FISHERS CROSS. Unbeaten over hurdles last season, the six-year-old won Grade 1 novice events at the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals and an earlier defeat of The New One now looks top-class form. Medinas may not quite be good enough at this level while Across The Bay enjoyed the run of the race when beating Trustan Times at Haydock in February. Captain Sunshine is quirky and need holding up and looks to have a bit to find at the weights along with The Knoxs.
Across The Bay (IRE) 40-1 (11-2) With leader, hit 3rd, led 8th (bechers), hampered by loose horse and headed after 16th (water), led again 19th, headed when hit 22nd (bechers), regained lead 5 out to next, ridden and weakening when blundered 2 out, 14th of 40, well behind Auroras Encore (10-3) at Aintree 4m 3f (1) gs in Apr.
Tidal Bay (IRE) 9-2 (11-10) In rear, ridden along in 7th 3 out, 6th next and went 4th before last, kept on under pressure between horses to lead closing strides, won at Leopardstown 3m chs G1 (1) sft in Dec beating First Lieutenant (11-10) by hd, 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.
Medinas (FR) 9-1 (11-7) Held up towards rear, pushed along before 4 out, weakened before 3 out, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Solwhit (11-7) at Aintree 3m hdl G1 (1) gs in Apr, 13 ran.
Trustan Times (IRE) 2-1fav (11-8) Held up towards rear, headway before 3 out, chased winner before last, kept on towards finish, 2nd of 7, 1 1/4l behind Across The Bay (11-4) at Haydock 3m hdl G2 (1) hvy in Feb.
Captain Sunshine 3-1fav (11-9) Led into start, held up in last, never very fluent, headway on outside 8th, no impression when mistake 2 out, blundered last, 13th of 20, 27l behind Trackmate (11-4) at Cheltenham 3m hcp hdl (2) gd in Oct.
The Knoxs (IRE) 11-4 (11-9) Took keen hold, jumped left, held up last, jumped badly left final circuit, went 3rd at 16th, blundered badly next, soon beaten, tailed off, 3rd of 4, well behind Upham Atom (10-2) at Taunton 3m 5f hcp chs 0-145 (2) sft in Mar.