SPENT is the call with Steptoe and Shalamiyr on the shortlist. Alison Thorpe's gelding sets a stiff standard for the others having ran creditably in a couple of novice events. If he acts on the surface, he will be tough to beat. Steptoe handles decent ground and while well held at Ludlow, he should do much better here. Shalamiyr was a fair second to Manyriverstocross in a contest at Chepstow. Phillip Hobbs' team are in good order so a watching brief is advised. Mccauley won on fast going in his point-to-point career in Ireland so is worthy of note at longer odds. Shinnecock Bay is tried in first time blinkers while Recurring Dream has been backed previously though has not shown a great deal on the racecourse. Richard Johnson has rejected Adeus Ayrton and Rhys Flint takes the mount. Spent has had a few chances but on official BHA figures, looks the one they all have to beat.
Adeus Ayrton (IRE) 3-1fav (11-1) Keen, towards rear, some headway before 2 out, never near leaders, 5th of 14, 22l behind Superius (11-1) at Wincanton 2m mdn hdl (4) gd in Mar.
Keep Guessing 12-1 (11-0) Held up towards rear, took keen hold, stayed alone on inside approaching 5th, not fluent 3 out, soon weakened, tailed off, 6th of 8, 35l behind Ring For Time (10-13) at Hereford 2m 1f nov hdl (4) sft in Mar.
Magical Treasure 2-1 (11-3) Held up towards rear, headway to track leaders over 6f out, weakened over 2f out, 6th of 8, 25l behind Lundy Sky (11-3) at Chepstow 2m NH flat (6) hvy in Mar.
McCauley (IRE) 33-1 (10-9) Slight lead for 4f, stayed handy, weakened over 3f out, tailed off, 9th of 11, well behind Johnny Mullen (10-9) at Wincanton 2m NH flat (6) sft in Dec.
Shalamiyr (FR) 12-1 (11-2) Held up, took keen hold, soon in touch, weakening when not fluent 2 out, 7th of 11, 29l behind Lord Ragnar (11-12) at Newbury 2m 3f cnd nov hcp hdl (0-120) (3) sft in Mar.
Shinnecock Bay 14-1 (10-11) Held up, headway approaching 3 out, weakened soon after, 12th of 18, well behind Stagecoach Pearl (11-5) at Doncaster 2m nov hcp hdl 0-110 (4) gd in Dec.
Spent 15-8 (11-0) Took keen hold, soon settled 4th, chased winner soon after 3 out, challenged going well 2 out, every chance last, found no extra and held final 100 yards, 2nd of 7, 2l behind Ramvaswani (10-11) at Plumpton 2m mdn hdl (5) hvy in Apr.
Steptoe 11-2 (11-3) Prominent, raced keenly, not fluent 4th, weakened approaching 3 out, blundered 2 out, 10th of 15, well behind Black Jack Blues (11-3) at Ludlow 2m NH mdn hdl (4) gs in Feb.
Trew Style 16-1 (8-9) Slowly into stride, headway to lead after 2f, ridden and headed over 4f out, weakened over 3f out, last of 9, well behind Keenes Day (9-7) at Wolverhampton 2m hcp (4) pol in Oct '08 (flat).
Googoobarabajagal (IRE) 25-1 (10-12) Held up towards rear, headway approaching 2 out, soon ridden, kept on from last, no chance with winner, 2nd of 10, 2 1/4l behind Super Kenny (10-12) at Stratford 2m 4yo nov hdl (3) gf in Mar.
Reverend Green (IRE) 14-1 (10-7) Always prominent, led over 3f out, ridden inside final furlong, held on, won at Southwell 1m 6f 4yo nhf (4) std in Jan beating Quiet Whisper (10-11) by hd, 12 ran.
As Cold As Ice 20-1 (11-7) Hdwy 8; led 12 til hdd 3 out; wknd nxt, 5th of 13, 11l behind Manmoon (10-7) at Great Trethew 2m 4f ptp gd in Apr '07.
Recurring Dream 13-2 (10-10) Held up in rear, mistake 4th, blundered next, soon weakened, tailed off, 7th of 11, well behind True Britannia (10-12) at Hereford 2m 1f juv fll nov hdl (3yo) (4) gf in Sep.