Grumeti has clearly had his problems lately and is probably best watched here while the ground looks too soft for last year's runner-up Local Hero. Triumph Hurdle third Sametegal is worth a second look tackling older horses for the first time while Shotavodka and Ifandbutwhynot are capable of bouncing back from recent setbacks but this looks a big ask for Plumpton winner Court Minstrel and Irish raider Silk Hall at the weights. UNE ARTISTE simply wasn't good enough against Quevega and company at Cheltenham but, back over 2m on soft ground, will be more at home here and may well to be good enough to beat the boys.
Grumeti 11-4fav (11-0) Mid-division in touch on inside, hampered approaching 4th, driven after 4 out, stayed on to go 2nd 2 out, ridden and upsides between last 2, led narrowly flat, asserted towards finish, won at Aintree 2m 4yo hdl Grade 1 (1) gs in Apr '12 beating Countrywide Flame (11-0) by 1l, 11 ran.
Local Hero (GER) 20-1 (11-12) Towards rear, effort before 2 out, never dangerous, 12th of 22, 21l behind Cockney Sparrow (9-9) at Aintree 2m cond hcp hdl (2) gs.
Une Artiste (FR) 11-2 (11-5) Tracked leaders, ridden and effort before last, weakened flat, 9th of 19, 12l behind Quevega (11-5) at Cheltenham 2m 4f hdl G2 (1) sft in Mar.
Court Minstrel (IRE) 3-1fav (10-8) In rear, hit 4th, headway and every chance 2 out, challenged last, led run-in kept on well, won at Plumpton 2m hcp hdl (2) gs in Mar beating Specialagent Alfie (9-12) by 2 1/2l, 11 ran.
Shotavodka (IRE) 6-1 (10-12) Led, ridden and headed before last, no extra, 7th of 22, 13l behind Cockney Sparrow (9-9) at Aintree 2m cond hcp hdl (2) gs.
Bygones of Brid (IRE) 12-1 (11-12) Led to 2nd, in touch, led again 4 out to next, soon ridden, weakened from 2 out, 4th of 7, 23l behind Rumble Of Thunder (10-8) at Newcastle 2m hcp hdl 0-140 (3) gs.
Sametegal (FR) 33-1 (11-0) Mid-division, chased leaders 2 out, soon ridden, no chance with impressive winner when went narrow 2nd and hit last, no extra in 3rd flat, 3rd of 17, 18l behind Our Conor (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m 1f 4yo hdl Grade 1 (1) gs in Mar.
Ifandbutwhynot (IRE) 8-1fav (10-7) Held up in last pair, headway into mid-division 3 out, outpaced on outside next, switched inside between last 2, ridden and kept on approaching last, weakened flat, 9th of 28, 13l behind Ted Veale (10-6) at Cheltenham 2m 1f hcp hdl G3 (1) gs in Mar.
Silk Hall (UAE) 16-1 (11-5) Tracked leaders, ridden in 3rd 3 out, soon no impression on leaders, kept on one paced from 2 out, 3rd of 7, 10l behind Shrapnel (11-8) at Downpatrick 2m 2f hdl gd.