Native Taipan's latest run was too bad to be true and he may well fare better with a tongue tie applied at a track where his trainer does well but the percentage call is to side with the progressive KILCREA KIM. The Irish point winner has impressed in winning two novice hurdles and he looked in need of a step up to this trip when staying on dourly in the closing stages at Uttoxeter. Counting House isn't badly treated if retaining his ability and Jim Old can ready one after an absence whilst Stormyisland Ahead may appreciate the switch to handicap company having failed to justify favouritism behind Alpine Breeze. Pearl is capable, Salontyre may improve for this stiffer test and Doubletoilntrouble is unexposed but the topweight should have too much firepower.
Kilcrea Kim (IRE) 5-2 (11-5) Tracked leaders, challenged 4th, led 6th, not fluent next, joined from 3 out, headed narrowly last, soon led again, stayed on, won at Uttoxeter 2m 4f nov hdl (4) hvy in Oct beating My Boy Paddy (10-12) by 1 1/2l, 10 ran.
Counting House (IRE) 25-1 (10-5) Held up, headway approaching 3 out, edged left between last 2, faded flat, 7th of 24, 9l behind Ballyfitz (10-8) at Cheltenham 3m lstd hcp hdl (1) gs in Mar '08.
Native Taipan (IRE) 12-1 (11-4) Led narrowly, driven and headed approaching 4 out, soon weakened, 12th of 13, well behind Thelobstercatcher (10-12) at Chepstow 3m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft.
Stormyisland Ahead 7-2fav (11-2) Raced in rear, in touch, headway to chase leaders 3 out, soon hard ridden, never on terms, 5th of 8, 16l behind Alpine Breeze (10-12) at Ffos Las 3m nh nov hdl (4) gs.
Vivarini 10-3 (11-2) Tracked leaders, headway to lead narrowly 7th, headed 2 out, soon ridden and one pace, no chance with winner approaching last, 2nd of 8, 17l behind Bled (10-11) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) hvy.
Pearl (IRE) 11-2 (10-13) In touch in main group, pushed along after 5th, ridden approaching 7th, weakened after 3 out, tailed off, 5th of 8, well behind Pokanoket (11-5) at Market Rasen 2m 5f mrs hcp hdl 0-120 (3) sft in Mar.
Salontyre (GER) 13-2 (9-13) Chased leaders, went badly left then right 3 out, stayed on same pace from next, no chance with front pair, 3rd of 16, 11l behind The Disengager (10-6) at Exeter 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gs in Mar.
Doubletoilntrouble (IRE) 16-1 (10-0) Tracked leader, hard driven before 3 out, weakened before next, 5th of 9, 15l behind Harouet (10-6) at Ffos Las 3m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs.