SOMERSBY will be short odds to see off The Nightingale and Mad Max. Henrietta Knight has always spoken of this horse as been a future chaser and her hunch has proved to be right so far. He was best of the Brits behind Sizing Europe at Cheltenham and having already performed well at Aintree over hurdles, we are confident that this visit to Merseyside will be a winning one. The Nightingale was ultra impressive in the Pendil Chase at Kempton. This represents a leap in grade but the trip will not be the problem if any. Mad Max has been a tad disappointing this term. He remains, for all his training infirmities; a useful recruit who is deserving of a place among the top novices in Britain. Hey Big Spender made too many mistakes at Cheltenham and ultimately paid the penalty. Gansey has been a credit to Sue Smith in handicaps but may find this a bridge too far. Somersby is the most progressive of these on the formbook and has to be the selection accordingly.
Gansey (IRE) 25-1 (10-13) Soon led, mistake 2nd, headed 6th, led again next until 11th, lost place 13th, weakened 3 out, 11th of 20, well behind Copper Bleu (11-1) at Cheltenham 2m 5f nov Listed hcp hdl (1) gs in Mar.
Hey Big Spender (IRE) 8-1 (11-8) In touch, chased leader briefly when blundered and unseated rider 13th, in a race won by Copper Bleu (11-1) at Cheltenham 2m 5f nov Listed hcp hdl (1) gs in Mar, 20 ran.
Mad Max (IRE) 25-1 (11-7) With leaders, led after 8th, narrow advantage when blundered badly 2 out, soon headed, ridden and one pace approaching last, 4th of 12, 5l behind Sizing Europe (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m nov chs G1 (1) gs in Mar.
Othermix (FR) 50-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders on inside, went 2nd after 3 out, soon ridden and every chance, switch right approaching last, kept on flat, 2nd of 20, 3 1/2l behind Copper Bleu (11-1) at Cheltenham 2m 5f nov Listed hcp hdl (1) gs in Mar.
Somersby (IRE) 4-1 (11-7) Mid-division, heaway to track leaders 9th, outpaced 2 out, soon ridden, rallied flat, closed on winner towards finish, just held, 2nd of 12, 3/4l behind Sizing Europe (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m nov chs G1 (1) gs in Mar.
The Jazz Musician (IRE) 7-4 (11-0) Jumped well, made all, going well after 8th (3 out) left with advantage 2 out, readily, won at Taunton 2m beg chase (4) sft in Feb beating Son Of Flicka (11-0) by 15l, 4 ran.
The Nightingale (FR) 4-6fav (11-0) Tracked leaders, led 3rd, headed 6th, led again 4 out, clear approaching 2nd last, ran on strongly, impressive (no time taken), won at Kempton 2m 4f nov chs G2 (1) sft in Feb beating Othermix (11-0) by 18l, 5 ran.