Rick has some promising form in Ireland and has dropped to a very lowly mark though his jumping let him down at Wetherby last time. MANDARIN SUNSET is bred to be a chaser so he's done well to score over hurdles and makes his debut over fences from what could prove to be a lenient mark. Big Water is only a youngster but his victories have come on testing ground and he was beaten a long way when runner-up at Musselburgh last time. Hunters Belt is 12lb higher than his last victory over hurdles and was well beaten on his chasing bow but Diocles will have learnt from his runs over fences last season and has the scope to do better.
Hunters Belt (IRE) 50-1 (11-0) Last pair, outpaced before 7th, lost poor 4th and not fluent 2 out, never on terms, last of 5, 35l behind Eduard (11-0) at Carlisle 2m nov chs (3) gs.
Big Water (IRE) 10-3fav (11-10) Held up mid-division, ridden before 2 out, soon chased winner, kept on and no impression, 2nd of 8, 17l behind Strongpoint (11-7) at Musselburgh 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd.
Rick (FR) 7-2 (11-5) Led, headed after 3rd, remained with leader, led 8th, headed 4 out, kept on and no extra when lost 2nd place close home, 3rd of 8, 12l behind Westward Point (11-1) at Wetherby 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) gs.
Diocles (IRE) 11-4 (11-12) Led, jumped right early, not fluent 4 out or 3 out, soon headed, no extra last, last of 5, 21l behind Kykate (11-8) at Kelso 2m 1f nov hcp chs 0-120 (4) gd in Apr.
Mandarin Sunset (IRE) 4-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders, went 2nd after 4 out, poised to challenge 2 out, driven to lead when edged left flat, ridden out, won at Musselburgh 2m 4f mdn hdl (4) gd in Nov beating Bellgrove (11-0) by 2 1/2l, 9 ran.