Alan King has won this three times in recent years and a fourth looks on the cards with GRUMETI. A decent handicapper on the Flat, he beat older horses in a canter on his hurdling debut at Taunton and would have gained a spectacular victory at Newbury last week but for coming to grief at the second last. This is a much tougher task, however, and he certainly won't have things his own way against the classy Hollow Tree, who wasn't inconvenienced by the testing conditions in the Grade 1 Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow but is even better suited by today's likely quicker ground. A line through Hinterland suggests he has it all to do against the exciting Baby Mix, who shot to the top of the Triumph Hurdle betting with an emphatic British debut victory here last month and looks sure to take some beating. Paul Nicholls' has a line through the form via Hinterland so wouldn't be running Taunton novice winner Pearl Swan here for fun.
Baby Mix (FR) 14-1 (11-0) Disputed 2nd, led going well before last, driven readily clear flat, comfortably, won at Cheltenham 2m 1f 3yo hdl (2) gd in Dec beating Hinterland (11-7) by 7l, 7 ran.
Hollow Tree 13-8fav (11-0) Made all, mistake 2nd, strongly challenged 2 out, hard ridden approaching last, stayed on well, won at Chepstow 2m 3yo hdl Grd 1 (1) hvy in Dec beating Countrywide Flame (11-0) by 2 1/2l, 9 ran.
Pearl Swan (FR) 3-1 (10-7) Tracked leaders in 4th, smooth headway after 3 out, led next, kept on, ridden clear flat, won at Taunton 2m 1f nh nov hdl (3) gs beating Ifyouletmefinish (11-4) by 4l, 12 ran.
Tango De Juilley (FR) 2-1 (11-8) Led, ridden 2 out, joined and hit last, kept on until headed and not pace of winner final 120 yards, 2nd of 6, 1 1/2l behind Vendor (10-12) at Newbury 2m 3yo hdl (3) sft in Dec.
Colebrooke 11-2 (10-12) Tracked leaders, headway to lead approaching 2 out, joined last, narrow lead when ridden and edged left briefly flat, held on gamely, all out, won at Sandown 2m 4yo hdl (4) sft beating Soliwery (10-12) by shd, 6 ran.
Grumeti 8-15fav (11-5) Tracked leader, left in lead 2nd, clear after 3 out, slithered on landing and fell 2 out, in a race won by Crafty Roberto (10-12) at Newbury 2m 4yo hdl (4) sft, 6 ran.