ROLL ALONG has his sights lowered considerably today and is readily preferred ahead of Money Trix and Lodge Lane. The last named has won 6 of his 13 career starts and, having shown plenty of ability, he is a fair prospect for the Victor Dartnall yard. He does, however, possess a modest completion rate over fences, so needs to be at the top of his game today. Money Trix has been very lightly raced since he finished second to Black Jack Ketchum in the Sefton Novices' Hurdle at Aintree in 2006. Having gone well fresh in the past, his absence since February isn't a great concern and the Nicky Richards-trained gelding is most likely to be there to exploit any weakness shown by the selection. However, considering that Roll Along's last two starts came in the Cheltenham and Punchestown Gold Cups, this is likely to seem like a stroll in the park in comparison. Small fields seem to be ideal for Nigel Twiston-Davies' gelding and the nine-year-old has a cracking chance of getting his 2009/10 campaign off to a flyer.
Companero (IRE) 9-2 (11-4) Prominent, outpaced 4 out, soon ridden, left 3rd when hampered 2 out, no impression, 3rd of 5, 19l behind Kornati Kid (11-4) at Wetherby 3m 1f nov chs G2 (1) sft in Jan.
Minster Shadow 25-1 (10-10) Ran out in touch, mistake 4 out, ridden and outpaced next, 4th and no impression when ran out 2 out, in a race won by Merigo (11-1) at Newcastle 4m 1f hcp chs (2) hvy in Feb, 13 ran.
Money Trix (IRE) 2-1 (11-4) Behind, hit 3rd and 4th, tracked leaders halfway, hit 13th, going well to lead last, ridden and soon clear, won at Kelso 2m 6f chs (2) sft in Feb beating Natiain (10-12) by 26l, 4 ran.
Roll Along (IRE) 10-1 (11-10) Disputed early, chased leader after 4th, 2nd halfway, ridden in 4th 4 out, no impression in moderate 5th entering straight, kept on one pace straight, 4th of 12, 28l behind Notre Pere (11-10) at Punchestown 3m 1f Grade 1 chs sft in Apr.
Bold Ransom (IRE) 5-2fav (11-3) Held up in touch, ridden 4 out, kept on from last to lead flat, driven out, won at Kelso 3m 1f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gd in Mar beating Twelve Paces (10-0) by 7l, 5 ran.
Lodge Lane (IRE) 11-4 (11-3) Mistakes and jumped left, ridden 4 out, left 6 lengths 2nd when blundered next, one pace and lost 2nd last, rallied to regain 2nd near finish, no chance with winner, 2nd of 6, 22l behind Jaunty Flight (10-13) at Perth 3m nov stks (2) gd in Apr.
Maidstone Mixture (FR) 6-1 (10-1) Jumped slightly right, made most to 4 out, soon driven, weakened after 2 out, 5th of 7, 32l behind Skipper's Lad (10-10) at Stratford 3m 4f hcp chs 0-120 (3) gd in Oct.