This looks a competitive opener as several of these are likely to prove just as good over fences as they were over timber. King's Grace had Featherintheattic behind when winning a maiden hurdle at Bangor a year ago and will have learned plenty from his chasing bow at Carlisle, though will need to reverse that form with runner-up Vintage Star. Simonside has been in good form over the smaller obstacles lately, while Kings Lodge, the returning Sir Frank and four-year-old filly Jackies Solitaire are other possibilities. Aidan Coleman performed heroics to keep the partnership intact when RENARD D'IRLANDE blundered at Wincanton nine days ago but the seven-year-old kept on really well to finish third that day and may well be good enough to open his account over fences here with a clear round.
Achimota (IRE) 40-1 (11-2) Prominent, hampered 4 out, no impression from 2 out, 4th of 11, 9l behind Howard's Legacy (11-2) at Ffos Las 2m 3f beg chs (3) sft in Nov.
Featherintheattic (IRE) 3-1 (11-0) Held up mid-division, headway over 4f out, every chance over 2f out, one pace inside final furlong, 4th of 9, 9l behind Cousin Khee (11-0) at Kempton 2m n h flat (4) std.
King's Grace 11-4 (11-2) Led to 7th, tracked leader, weakened before 2 out, 5th of 8, 18l behind Cloudy Too (10-9) at Carlisle 2m 4f beg chs (3) hvy in Nov.
Kings Lodge 16-1 (11-1) Chased leaders, ridden and lost place after 6th, weakened after 3 out, 10th of 21, 33l behind Buck Magic (11-5) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gs in Nov.
Nomadic Dreamer 14-1 (11-0) Led until 3rd, prominent, ridden and beaten when hit 3 out, no extra next, 5th of 11, 21l behind Zarzal (11-0) at Ludlow 2m mdn hdl (5) sft in Nov.
Renard D'irlande (FR) 3-1 (11-0) Tracked leading pair, went 2nd 10th, blundered badly and all but unseated rider 11th, rallied to 3rd approaching 3 out, kept on same pace, 3rd of 8, 6l behind Grandioso (11-0) at Wincanton 2m 5f beg chs (3) sft.
Simonside 6-1 (10-13) Led, raced wide, headed 3 out, ridden before 2 out, lost 2nd place last, soon weakened, 3rd of 14, 8l behind Trustan Times (11-12) at Wetherby 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs in Nov.
Sir Frank (IRE) 14-1 (11-10) Held up mid-division and keen, ridden and weakened after 3 out, 6th of 14, 26l behind Karky Schultz (11-1) at Taunton 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs in Feb '11.
Vintage Star (IRE) 11-2 (11-2) Chased leaders, ridden after 12th, led 4 out, ridden and headed last, kept on, 2nd of 8, 2 1/4l behind Cloudy Too (10-9) at Carlisle 2m 4f beg chs (3) hvy in Nov.
Wiesentraum (GER) 11-1 (10-11) Prominent, challenging when bumped 3 out, soon led, ridden and headed last, stayed on same pace flat, 2nd of 13, 2 1/4l behind Hills Of Aran (11-5) at Ludlow 3m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd in May.
Zaru (FR) 5-2fav (11-0) Always prominent, led after 3 out, challenged last, stayed on strongly, won at Newcastle 2m mdn hdl (5) gd in Mar beating Harvey's Hope (11-0) by 2 1/2l, 15 ran.
Jackies Solitaire 9-4 (11-9) Held up in touch, not fluent 7th, soon led, headed after 3 out, 3rd and no impression when mistake last, weakened flat, 5th of 8, 17l behind Songsmith (11-0) at Newbury 2m 3f hcp ch 0-130 (3) gd in Mar.