Alderbrook Lad returned an easy winner here last time and may still be ahead of the handicapper. But he'll need to be with a 20lb hike to contend with and runner-up Manjakani may well reverse running on today's much better terms with Katie Walsh taking over the reins. LIFE AND SOUL doesn't arrive in the best of form but represents last year's winning partnership and Lucy Alexander is back on board for the first time since. He gets the vote with Cool Baranca looking best of the rest on her latest second at Uttoxeter.
Alderbrook Lad (IRE) 7-2 (11-7) Mostly jumped well, made all, hit 3 out, clear from 2 out, unchallenged, won at Market Rasen 2m 3f nh nov hdl (4) gd beating Manjakani (11-5) by 12l, 9 ran.
Life And Soul (IRE) 10-1 (11-8) Held up, pulled hard, closed 3 out, weakened next, 8th of 9, 21l behind Max Ward (11-2) at Aintree 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gd in Jun.
Manjakani 8-13fav (11-5) Took keen hold tracking leaders, went 2nd 3rd, hit 5th, ridden before 2 out, soon held and no chance with easy winner, 2nd of 9, 12l behind Alderbrook Lad (11-7) at Market Rasen 2m 3f nh nov hdl (4) gd.
All That Remains (IRE) 25-1 (11-1) Behind, ridden 2 out, never on terms, 9th of 16, 21l behind Carlton Jack (10-11) at Haydock 2m 4f hcp hdl (2) gd in Apr.
Smart Ruler (IRE) 9-4fav (11-6) Tracked leaders, last before 5th, mistake 2 out, soon went 3rd but outpaced and no impression on front pair, 3rd of 4, 12l behind Plan Again (11-4) at Cartmel 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-110 (4) gd in May.
Rockabilly Riot (IRE) 20-1 (11-0) Held up in touch, outpaced after 3 out, soon weakened, mistake 2 out, 5th of 7, 39l behind Gold Futures (11-4) at Market Rasen 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gd in May.
Cool Baranca (GER) 7-2 (11-2) Held up in last pair, headway approaching 7th, every chance last, held towards finish, 2nd of 6, 1 1/4l behind Our Maimie (10-13) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f mrs hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gd.