An interesting opener with trainers venturing from far and wide but Gary Moore's trek from Sussex can pay dividends courtesy of a first hurdling success for BEAU FIGHTER. The gelding was inched out when last seen over timber in November and arrives here in great nick, having landed three of his last four starts, all on the Southwell Fibresand. Hunters Belt and Mut' Ab face tough tasks under penalties but Benbens is a fascinating contender for the Twiston-Davies team. Off track for over 550 days, he's clearly thought worthy of perseverance after showing potential on his Aintree hurdling debut behind Sitting Tenant at the back-end of 2009. Grethel, second here over the weekend, has place claims once again.
Hunters Belt (IRE) 9-1 (10-12) In touch, headway to 3rd approaching 3 out, went 2nd soon after, led before last, stayed on flat, won at Wetherby 2m nh nov hdl (4) gf in Apr beating Archie Rice (10-5) by 3/4l, 9 ran.
Mut'ab (USA) 11-1 (11-2) Tracked leader until 3rd, in touch in rear after, ridden 3 out, jumped next and fell soon after, in a race won by Hibiki (11-5) at Fakenham 2m sell hdl (5) gf in May, 5 ran.
Beau Fighter 5-6fav (10-12) Tracked leaders and keen, hampered 3rd, led and hit 2 out, soon ridden, mistake last, kept on, caught post, 2nd of 7, shd behind Union Island (10-12) at Plumpton 2m nh nov hdl (3) sft in Nov.
Benbens (IRE) 12-1 (11-8) Tracked leaders, hit 4th, went 2nd next until ridden approaching 3 out, regained 2nd approaching last, one pace and no chance with winner, 2nd of 12, 6l behind Sitting Tennant (11-8) at Aintree 2m mdn hdl (3) gs in Nov '09.
Parky (IRE) 66-1 (10-12) Always in rear, struggling 4th, tailed off, 12th of 16, well behind Stronghaven (10-12) at Kelso 2m nh nov hdl (4) gd in May.
Sposalizio (IRE) 80-1 (10-5) In rear, struggling 4 out, tailed off, 7th of 9, 48l behind Newdane Dancer (10-5) at Cartmel 2m 1f 4yo nov hdl (4) gd in May.
Grethel (IRE) 28-1 (10-12) Held up towards rear, headway and in touch 4 out, effort approaching last, ridden and stayed on to chase winner flat, no impression, 2nd of 11, 5l behind Flora's Pride (10-9) at Cartmel 2m 1f mrs nov sll hdl (5) gd in May.
Itstooearly 9-1 (10-0) Held up in last, ridden after 7th, mistake last, never on terms, 8th of 10, 32l behind Loch Dhu (9-11) at Aintree 2m 4f cond hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gd in May.
Talk of Saafend (IRE) 28-1 (10-5) Mid-division, bad mistake 1st and lost place, hampered next, headway after 5th, weakened flat, 7th of 16, 25l behind Stronghaven (10-12) at Kelso 2m nh nov hdl (4) gd in May.