A few of these are going to find this tough going but there are no stamina doubts surrounding Special Portrait, who won this 12 months ago and was a wide-margin winner at Perth just six days ago. Crank Hill was only beaten half-a-length by Special Portrait last year and has to go on the short-list while Be There In Five has been in good form between the flags. Bleuvito never looked like winning when favourite at Towcester last time, however, and How's My Friend was no match for Coombe Hill at Wincanton last month. FREDDIES RETURN has only been beaten in one of his 11 starts between the flags and has won twice under Rules. He will enjoy the bit of give in the ground and could be the one today.
Special Portrait (IRE) 5-2fav (11-13) Mid-division, tracked leaders before 7th, led before 4 out, clear before 3 out, kept on strongly, won at Perth 3m 2f hts chs (5) gs in Apr beating Noir Et Vert (11-7) by 35l, 11 ran.
Deb's Dasher 5-4 (12-7) Prom til wknd 19, 3rd of 4, 25l behind Batu Ferringhi (12-0) at Four Burrow 3m 4f ptp gd in Apr.
Freddies Return (IRE) 2-1 (12-5) (tt) ap; led 7 til hdd aft 15; rallied to ld last; all out, won at Old Surrey, Burstow & West Kent 3m ptp gd in Apr beating Adept Approach (12-5) by 1/2l, 6 ran.
How's My Friend 16-1 (11-9) Mid-division, headway before 4 out, chased winner before last, kept on, 2nd of 8, 4l behind Coombe Hill (12-3) at Wincanton 3m 1f hts chs (6) gd in Apr.
Barrick's Hill (IRE) 4-1 (12-0) Lft 2nd 4; led 12; drvn out, won at Atherstone 3m ptp sft in Apr beating Lady Vicstar (11-7) by 2l, 8 ran.
Bell On Bike (IRE) 11-2 (11-11) Led, headed 4 out, weakening when jumped left 2 out, 4th of 9, 43l behind Shrewd Investment (11-7) at Towcester 2m 3f hts chs (6) gd in Apr.
Be There In Five (IRE) 11-4 (12-0) (cp) led 15 til hdd 2 out; stayed on to ld flat; all out, won at Bedale 3m ptp gd in Apr beating Attrapeur (12-0) by 5l, 9 ran.
Bleuvito (IRE) 5-2fav (11-9) Tracked leaders, outpaced from 9th, hampered 2 out, stayed on to take 2nd run-in, no chance with winner, 2nd of 9, 23l behind Shrewd Investment (11-7) at Towcester 2m 3f hts chs (6) gd in Apr.
Charles Bruce (IRE) 8-1 (12-0) Led to 3 & 4-8; wknd qckly 14; pu 3 out, in a race won by Theatre Queen (11-7) at North Cotswold 3m ptp sft in Apr, 5 ran.
Cold Mountain (IRE) 16-1 (12-0) Hdwy 10; led 19-4 out; no ex, 4th of 7, 11l behind Ocean du Moulin (12-0) at Kimblewick 4m ptp gd in Apr.
Crank Hill 6-4 (12-7) Led til hdd 14; stayed on one pce 2 out, 2nd of 4, 5l behind Classic Swain (12-0) at Wilton 3m ptp gs in Apr.
Dammam 12-1 (10-11) Held up towards rear, steady headway from 19th, went 3rd 2 out, mistake last, stayed on flat, 4th of 15, 4 1/2l behind Top Dancer (10-8) at Cheltenham 3m 4f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gs in Apr.
James Pine (IRE) 66-1 (11-3) Soon in rear, headway after 2 out, went poor 4th last, one pace and no impression, 4th of 8, 19l behind Presentandcorrect (11-11) at Stratford 2m 7f hts chs (5) gd in Apr.
Keenan's Future (IRE) 25-1 (12-5) (bl) hdwy 13; one pce 3 out, 4th of 7, 10l behind Sybarite (12-5) at Worcestershire 3m 2f ptp gd in Apr.
King Of The Road 9-1 (12-0) (bl) prom; chsd wnr 17; wknd app 2 out, 3rd of 7, 17l behind Nobby Kivambo (12-0) at Tedworth 3m 6f ptp gd in Mar.
Oedipe (FR) 20-1 (12-5) In tch til outpcd 15, 6th of 7, 36l behind Sybarite (12-5) at Worcestershire 3m 2f ptp gd in Apr.
Thelobstercatcher 11-1 (11-9) Mid-division, ridden after 10th, headway after 14th, outpaced when hampered 16th, some headway before 4 out, not able to get back on terms, 5th of 10, 18l behind The Clyda Rover (10-1) at Exeter 3m 6f hcp chs 0-125 (3) gd in Mar.
The Rubber Man (IRE) 8-1 (12-0) Hdwy aft 14; nvr nr to chall, 3rd of 11, 19l behind Fruit Fayre (11-10) at Ludlow 3m ptp gd in Apr.
Zacharova (IRE) 16-1 (11-7) In touch 4th, jumped right 6th, lost place 12th, closed next, outpaced 4 out, stayed on approaching last, no impression on leaders, 4th of 6, 8l behind That's Rhythm (12-1) at Bangor 3m hts chs (6) gd in Apr.