Age may have diminished VICTORY GUNNER's ability but not his attitude as he stayed on best of all to score by 10 lengths at Chepstow last week in a better race than this. Obviously, a penalty will make life tougher here but Richard Lee's 15-year-old is still fancied to show the youngsters a clean pair of heels as long as the ground doesn't dry out any further. Back-to-form Bellflower Boy looks the danger having won a seller and a claimer over hurdles recently. He was also second over fences at Leicester in between, almost 20 lengths ahead of fourth Night Safe. Firebird Flyer has won over fences but seems happier over hurdles while Crannaghmore Boy will probably need this after a lengthy absence.
Firebird Flyer (IRE) 13-2 (11-6) Tracked leaders, hit 11th and 12th, blundered next, soon under pressure, rallied 4 out, chased winner next, weakened last, 2nd of 4, 19l behind Hunters Lodge (11-5) at Uttoxeter 3m nov hcp chs (3) hvy.
Victory Gunner (IRE) 16-1 (10-13) Tracked leader, led 6 out ridden before 3 out, clear from 2 out, kept on well, won at Chepstow 3m hcp chs 0-120 (4) hvy beating Thomas Wild (10-13) by 10l, 6 ran.
Bellflower Boy (IRE) 9-4fav (10-12) Tracked leaders in 3rd, went 2nd after 6th, led after 3 out, clear after 2 out, kept on well, won at Southwell 2m 4f clm hdl (5) hvy beating Arrayan (11-8) by 15l, 7 ran.
Night Safe (IRE) 7-1 (11-10) Held up towards rear, headway 9th, outpaced by leaders before 4 out, well held next, 4th of 10, 28l behind Balinroab (11-12) at Leicester 2m 7f hcp ch 0-110 (4) sft.
Crannaghmore Boy (IRE) 11-4 (10-9) Jumped slightly left at times, led unti 6th, not fluent 9th, ridden after 4 out, one pace next, 2nd of 3, 10l behind Gentleman Anshan (11-1) at Hereford 2m 5f hcp chs 0-120 (4) gd in Mar '12.