Having won bumpers at Ayr and Aintree in the spring, Regal Diamond was sent off favourite on his reappearance at Cheltenham but weakened under pressure on the climb to the line. He may have needed that and is very interesting now tackling hurdles but Henry Daly's string is going well and his VICE ET VERTU also looks a nice recruit. He won his first bumper on heavy ground at Warwick in February before finishing second at Ffos Las and the soft ground won't be a problem. Of those with hurdling experience, Expanding Universe has a much higher rating than Never Says Never and was second in better company at Ascot last season.
Aldeburgh 40-1 (10-9) Pulled very hard in rear, weakened 4 out, 6th of 9, well behind Sidney Melbourne (11-0) at Wincanton 2m mdn hdl (4) gd in Apr.
Bajan Blu 7-2 (10-7) Hdwy 11; ev ch when bad hmpd & ur 15, in a race won by Kingspark Boy (11-7) at Ystradowen 3m ptp gd in Mar '12, 10 ran.
Expanding Universe (IRE) 14-1 (11-0) Chased leader until pushed along 4 out, weakened quickly, tailed off, 12th of 15, well behind Forresters Folly (11-0) at Ascot 2m 3f mdn hdl (4) gd in Apr.
Ghost Of A Smile (IRE) 20-1 (10-9) Held up behind, headway after 4 out, chased leaders under pressure next, soon outpaced, weakened 2 out, 9th of 14, 25l behind Timesremembered (10-11) at Uttoxeter 2m mdn hdl (5) gd in Oct.
Hunky Dorey 25-1 (11-0) Last trio, weakened 4 out, tailed off, last of 9, well behind Berea Boru (11-0) at Ffos Las 2m 4f mdn hdl (5) hvy in Oct.
Kill Van Kull (IRE) 150-1 (11-0) Held up behind, short lived effort on outside before 2 out, soon weakened, tailed off, 8th of 10, well behind Purple Bay (11-0) at Stratford 2m mdn hdl (4) sft in Oct.
Midnight Request 33-1 (10-12) Always behind, 10th of 13, 39l behind Little Pop (10-12) at Uttoxeter 2m NH nov hdl 4-6yo (4) gs in Oct.
Never Says Never 6-1 (11-0) Held up, took keen hold, jumped left 4th, mistakes 5th and 6th, headway 8th, weakened before 2 out, tailed off, 5th of 8, 44l behind Billy No Name (11-0) at Wincanton 2m 6f mdn hdl (5) gd in Oct.
Regal Diamond (IRE) 7-2fav (11-10) Prominent, challenged 5f out, ridden over 1f out, no extra final 150 yards, 6th of 18, 9l behind Carningli (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m NH flat (4) gs in Oct.
Tribulation Diktat gelding out of Royal York.
Vice Et Vertu (FR) 4-1 (11-5) Mid-division, driven 3f out, chased easy winner over 1f out, ridden and stayed on when hard pressed for 2nd final furlong, no impression, 2nd of 8, 7l behind Chill Factor (10-9) at Ffos Las 2m nhf (6) gs in Apr.
Indiefront 16-1 (11-0) Held up mid-division, headway before 3f out, ridden before 1f out, kep ton and edged left, 3rd of 10, 5l behind Reves D'amour (10-7) at Towcester 2m mares n h flat (6) gs in May.
Miss Tilly Dove 25-1 (10-9) Led, soon clear, headed over 3f out, weakened over 2f out, moderate 4th, 4th of 5, 42l behind Top Gamble (10-6) at Ffos Las 2m mdn NH flat (6) hvy in Dec.
Two Mile Bridge (IRE) 33-1 (10-0) Held up in rear, struggling 6th, never on terms, 7th of 12, 22l behind Trop Fort (11-4) at Newton Abbot 2m 3f nh nov hdl (3) gd in Aug '12.