Jason Maguire has chosen Swift Arrow, a three times winner over fences, ahead of point-to-point and bumper winner Clondaw Hero and he deserves respect. Desgrey made steady improvement last season and should be thereabouts while Standintheband won a maiden hurdle at Perth in April and is preferred to Cumbrian Farmer and Lakefield Rebel. DROP OUT JOE only had to be pushed out to win at Uttoxeter last month. The form is nothing special but that was his first sight of hurdles in public and, with improvement almost guaranteed, he can defy his penalty.
Drop Out Joe 8-1 (11-0) Tracked leader, not fluent and led 6th, stayed on well pushed out, won at Uttoxeter 2m 4f mdn hdl (5) gd in Sep beating Keltic Rhythm (10-9) by 2 1/4l, 11 ran.
Standintheband (IRE) 12-1 (11-0) Led early, with leader, blundered 4th, led 2 out, edged left run-in, kept on well, driven out, won at Perth 2m 4f mdn hdl (4) gs in Apr beating Valleyofmilan (11-0) by 4l, 8 ran.
Clondaw Hero (IRE) 7-2 (11-0) Prominent, led before 2nd, headed approaching 9th, weakened next, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Vinnie The Fish (11-0) at Southwell 3m mdn hdl (5) gd in Sep, 9 ran.
Cloudy Deal (IRE) 8-1 (12-0) Chsd ldrs, 3rd 1/2way, 2nd 5out, 2l 2nd 3out, mstk 2out & wknd aftr 2out in 3rd, wknd 4th cl home, 4th of 12, 18l behind Ourson (12-0) at Lisronagh 3m ire ptp gf in May.
Cumbrian Farmer 150-1 (10-5) Led to 5 out, ridden before 3 out, soon weakened, 4th of 5, 31l behind Kilbree Kid (11-12) at Perth 3m nh nov hdl (4) gs in Sep.
Desgrey 15-2 (11-6) Led, headed briefly 3rd, ridden and headed 2 out, kept on and no chance with winner, 2nd of 8, 5l behind Ulys Du Charmil (11-10) at Wetherby 2m hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gs in Apr.
Lakefield Rebel (IRE) 5-2 (12-0) Pr, 2nd halfway, 2nd 2out,rddn and closing on ldr,when left in front last, won at Laurencetown 3m ire ptp gs in May '12 beating Isaac's Warrior (12-0) by dis, 16 ran.
Swift Arrow (IRE) 7-1 (11-2) Held up, not fluent 2nd, niggled along 7th, left 4th 10th, closed after next, soon driven along, beaten 3 out, soon weakened, left 3rd last, 3rd of 5, 43l behind Aneyeforaneye (10-13) at Perth 2m 4f Novice Handicap Chase (0-140) (5yo+) (3) gs in Apr.