Despite nearly 300 days off a racecourse OFAREL D'AIRY looks brilliantly placed to take another victory ahead of Limerick Boy and Contraband. Paul Nicholls charge made a mockery of a novice hurdle field over distance and in similar ground conditions to win by 22 lengths last time out. The form from the contest has been franked with the third going on to score and with decent enough chase performances on the CV it;s hard to see what will beat it here. One that could should things not go to plan is Limerick Boy who won a smart looking handicap over distance in rubbish ground back in December 2006. Also returning from an absence this seems a nice way to ease him back into things. As a former winner of the Arkle trophy at the Cheltenham Festival Contraband must be considered. Since those heady days the 11-year-old has slipped down the ratings and was outclassed in last season's champion hurdle. All that said in this company connections can expect better things but Ofarel D'airy will be hard to beat.
Cape Verde Sal (IRE) 14-1 (11-3) Prominent, 6th from 6th, no extra 3 out, 6th of 11, more than 23l behind Charlies First (11-4) at Limerick 2m 6f chs gf in Jul.
Contraband 14-1 (12-0) W ldrs to 14, 3rd of 17, 8l behind Dancer Life (12-0) at Black Forest Ldg 3m ptp gd in Jan.
Dancer Life (POL) 4-6fav (12-0) (tt) a.p; led last; drvn clr, won at Black Forest Ldg 3m ptp gd in Jan beating Moonlit Harbour (12-0) by 5l, 17 ran.
Good Gordon (IRE) 3-1 (12-0) Led 2-4 & 5-8; led 12-14; wknd 3 out, 4th of 9, 13l behind Sidney Charles (12-0) at Detling 3m ptp gd in Jan.
Limerick Boy (GER) 11-1 (11-10) Held up mid-division, went 2nd after 5 out, weakened when hit last, 8th of 11, 27l behind Cloudy Lane (11-3) at Haydock 3m hcp chs 0-145 (2) sft in Dec '07.
Man From Highworth 10-1 (12-0) Hdwy 9; led last; hdd & no ex flat, 2nd of 20, 6l behind Wickford (12-0) at Barbury Castle 3m ptp gd in Jan.
Ofarel D'airy (FR) 1-2fav (10-7) Made all, drew well clear after 6th, ridden approaching 2 out, unchallenged, won at N Abbot 2m 6f nov hdl (4) sft in May beating Martin Pitchwood (10-12) by 22l, 8 ran.
Pottersway (IRE) 10-1 (12-7) Led to 1; wknd 11; pulled up in race won by We're Confused (12-0) at Barbury Castle 3m ptp sft in Jan, 10 ran.
Teeming Rain (IRE) 10-1 (11-0) Mistake 2nd, very slow jump 3rd, behind when pulled up at the 4th in race won by Mouftari (10-10) at Limerick 3m hcp chs 0-130 hvy in Mar, 16 ran.
The Big Breakfast (IRE) 8-1 (12-0) Lost plce 10; t.o & pulled up in race won by Gentle George (12-0) at Barbury Castle 3m ptp gd in Jan, 20 ran.