SYDNEY PAGET jumped well and won easily at Towcester two runs ago before narrowly failing to overturn favourite Emperor's Choice, who has won again since, in a Carlisle handicap. The pair were clear of the third and this should be a straightforward task for Donald McCain's progressive novice. The others will be playing for places unless some accident befalls the favourite with Waywood Princess the only one to show any worthwhile recent form having won over hurdles at Wetherby in December, though she was pulled up at Towcester on her latest start.
Sydney Paget (IRE) 5-1 (11-12) Led, clear from 2nd, ridden 2 out, driven and headed final strides, 2nd of 10, 1/2l behind Emperor's Choice (11-1) at Carlisle 3m 2f hcp chs 0-145 (2) hvy in Feb.
Merlin's Wish 7-2 (11-7) Hdwy 15; led nr fin, won at Ashorne 3m ptp in May '10 beating Caught In Time (12-0) by nk, 11 ran.
Sertao (FR) 20-1 (10-11) Mid-division, took keen hold, jumped right 2nd, headway approaching 4th, weakened before 3 out, tailed off, 7th of 12, well behind Come On Annie (9-13) at Ffos Las 2m nov hcp hdl 0-95 (5) hvy in Feb.
Poppy Gregg 12-1 (10-6) Prominent, went 2nd after 9th until 3 out, weakening when hit 2 out, 5th of 11, 21l behind Absolute Shambles (11-7) at Huntingdon 3m 2f hcp hdl 0-95 (5) gf in Aug '11.
Waywood Princess 11-1 (10-2) Tracked leaders, lost place 6th, pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Tarabela (11-9) at Towcester 3m hcp hdl 0-100 (5) gs in Feb, 15 ran.