WHISTLING SENATOR is back on a decent mark but recent efforts have lacked sparkle, though he did finish ahead of the equally-disappointing Danandy and Western King at Newton Abbot last time. McCoy's mount is given a final chance. Forever My Friend has never won beyond 2m4f but stamina won't be an issue for Welsh Bard, who has won over further over hurdles. He's still unexposed over fences but this is his toughest task to date. Cardigan Island was in good form last summer and could also play a part if in the mood.
Forever My Friend (IRE) 8-1 (11-7) Held up, not fluent 3rd, headway 10th, went 2nd after 4 out, led before 2 out, soon headed and edged right, lost 2nd and one pace from last, 3rd of 8, 2 3/4l behind Porters War (11-2) at Newton Abbot 2m 5f hcp chs 0-125 (3) gf in Jul.
Danandy (IRE) 8-1 (11-3) Chased leaders, reminders after 13th, losing place when hampered 16th, no chance after, tailed off, 8th of 14, well behind Prince Tom (11-12) at Newton Abbot 3m 2f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in Jul.
Welsh Bard (IRE) 12-1 (11-0) Prominent, not fluent 6th, headway 9th, pecked 4 out, went 2nd 3 out, led flat, driven and held on well, won at Market Rasen 2m 6f nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) gs in Jul beating Dreamsoftheatre (11-12) by 1/2l, 7 ran.
Western King (IRE) 16-1 (11-0) Always towards rear, pushed along and struggling after 12th, no chance after, tailed off, 11th of 14, well behind Prince Tom (11-12) at Newton Abbot 3m 2f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in Jul.
Sun Tzu (IRE) 20-1 (11-11) Led until 5th, led 6th, headed next, weakened after 4 out, pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Handsome Dan (11-12) at Uttoxeter 3m hcp hdl 0-110 (4) gd in Jul, 13 ran.
Whistling Senator (IRE) 12-1 (11-4) Chased leader until 14th, lost place before next, weakened 4 out, tailed off, 7th of 14, 45l behind Prince Tom (11-12) at Newton Abbot 3m 2f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in Jul.
Cardigan Island (IRE) 17-2 (11-3) Tracked leaders, closed before 10th, lost place 3 out, no extra next, 5th of 8, 16l behind Porters War (11-2) at Newton Abbot 2m 5f hcp chs 0-125 (3) gf in Jul.