LATANIER is only a tentative selection in a penultimate contest that is really wide open, Fortunate Isle and Kack Handed are the others to look at. The selection gets the nod on the fact that he is just one of three who have already had at least one outing this season but more than that both runs this season have shown at least some ability. A placing on his seasonal return was followed by an improved effort to claim fourth of 10 against some useful rivals who will go on to better things. The step down in trip to the distance he took a race at Plumpton last term helps. Kack Handed is another in the contest already with a blow out in hand. That season debut was actually a career best show and suggested a contest like this is not beyond his reach. The form of that second place after a break hasn't been stood up but he should be challenging at the business end of proceedings. Fortunate Isle for Richard Fahey makes his seasonal comeback here after being tried on the flat to worse than average performances. A return to his hurdles form which had the six-year-old close in a number of similar contests last winter will have him up with the leaders. Usually a good performer after appearing on the level a placing or better isn't out of the question. Carrick Star, for handler Ferdy Murphy, makes a debut under rules after some decent point to point form but comes here after a seasons break while if he can live up to his relations and flat form then hurdles debutant Bugsy's Boy could be one at a bigger price but the selection, if only just, is Latanier.
Bugsy's Boy 17-2 (9-9) Mid-division, kept on same pace final 2f, 4th of 12, 9l behind Mr Crystal (9-4) at Pontefract 2m 2f hcp 0-75 (5) gs in Oct (Flat).
Carrick Star (IRE) (12-0) 2nd of 17, 5l behind Cryptic (12-0) at Bennettsbridge 3m ire ptp sft in Feb '07.
Divers (FR) 9-1 (10-10) Mistake 1st, chased winner, led after 4th, hit next, headed 4 out, chased winner to 3 out, weakened, 8th of 11, 44l behind High Standard (11-0) at Plumpton 2m mdn hdl (5) gf in May.
Edgebury 16-1 (11-3) Mid-division until 7f out, tailed off and virtually pulled up final 3f, 13th of 14, well behind Diamond Harry (11-7) at Newbury 2m nhf (2) sft in Mar.
Fortunate Isle (USA) 11-8fav (11-1) Led, mistake 2 out, soon ridden and headed, weakened last, 5th of 13, 13l behind Jamestown Bay (10-8) at Market Rasen 2m 1f mdn hdl (4) gd in Mar.
Grizebeck (IRE) 11-1 (11-6) Chased leader, ridden approaching 2 out, one pace, 5th of 16, 14l behind Puy d'Arnac (11-3) at Catterick 2m mdn hdl (4) gd in Dec.
Indefensible (IRE) 50-1 (10-12) Keen and always in rear, 11th of 15, well behind Tchico Polos (10-12) at Chepstow 2m nov hdl (4) gd in Oct.
Kack Handed 40-1 (10-12) Chased leaders and keen, disputing 2nd approaching 2 out, took 2nd towards finish, no chance with winner, 2nd of 13, 4 1/2l behind What A Buzz (10-12) at Bangor 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) gd in Oct.
Latanier (FR) 11-2 (10-12) Held up, in 4th when blundered 3 out, no impression, 4th of 10, 44l behind Your Amount (11-5) at Aintree 2m 4f nov hdl (4) gd in May.
Radmores Revenge 200-1 (10-11) Towards rear, headway 6th, kept on one pace, 6th of 13, 7l behind Black Ven (11-4) at Chepstow 2m 4f nov hdl (4) gs in Feb.
Shield of Zeus (IRE) 66-1 (10-7) Always towards rear, jump left from 3rd, soon weakened, 6th of 10, 47l behind Keki Buku (10-12) at Wincanton 2m nh nov hdl (4) gs in Oct.
Webbswood Lad (IRE) 100-1 (11-0) In mid-division when blundered and unseated rider 3 out fell 3 out in race won by Special Envoy (11-6) at Newbury 2m nov hdl (4) gs in Mar '07, 18 ran.
Cragg Vale Lady 20-1 (10-2) Tracked leaders, lost place 4th, outpaced 3 out, soon weakened, tailed off, 4th of 5, 45l behind Still At Lunch (10-12) at Market Rasen 2m 1f nov hdl (4) gd in Aug.