GUS MACRAE is selected here ahead of Mr Syntax and Eighteen Carat. This looks a much easier race than the one Gus Macrae contested at Newbury last time where he put in a bold display in second behind Bellvano. A course winner in a bumper, he looks sure to put in a bold display this afternoon with AP McCoy always an interesting jockey booking for the yard. Eighteen Carat shaped with plenty of promise behind stablemate Tara Royal on his hurdling bow and he should have learnt plenty from that run, My Syntax has run well in some decent races and he looks sure to put up a decent fight, whilst That's The Deal has not yet cut the mustard over hurdles. Along with The Rustlin Rhino and Towmater he may need further, whilst newcomer Diamond Eclipse is likely to need more time as the runners from the yard often improve markedly from first to second outings. At a price Across The Straits may run into a place, however the nomination goes confidently to Gus Macrae.
Across The Straits (FR) 125-1 (10-11) Raced keenly mid-division, outpaced 3 out, no impression from next, 6th of 14, 21l behind Mille Chief (11-0) at Huntingdon 2m nh nov hdl (4) sft in Jan.
Bernie The Banker 100-1 (10-12) Held up mid-division, weakened approaching 3 out, 12th of 14, well behind Larks Lad (10-12) at Taunton 2m 3f nov hdl (3) gs in Nov.
Born To Be Wilde (IRE) 100-1 (10-7) Always behind, tailed off, 8th of 12, well behind Whistlejacquet (11-3) at Taunton 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) gs in Feb.
Calon Crwbin 100-1 (11-0) Held up in rear, bumped 3rd, some haedway after 6th, went 5th after 3 out, never in contention, 5th of 15, 32l behind Black Jack Blues (11-3) at Ludlow 2m NH mdn hdl (4) gs in Feb.
Dumbleton Primitive Rising gelding out of Snowshill.
Eighteen Carat (IRE) 100-1 (11-1) Raced keenly, in touch, effort 2 out, one pace from last, 5th of 10, 20l behind Tara Royal (11-4) at Sedgefield 2m 1f nov hdl (4) sft in Jan.
Gus Macrae (IRE) 8-1 (11-2) Chased leader, led and not fluent 2 out, edged left soon after, headed last and dropped to 3rd, rallied into 2nd near finish, readily held by winner, 2nd of 12, 1l behind Bellvano (11-12) at Newbury 2m nh nov hdl (3) gs in Feb.
Mr Syntax (IRE) 7-1 (11-3) Tracked leaders and keen, every chance going to last, no impression on winner, 2nd of 14, 5l behind Bostons Angel (11-13) at Doncaster 2m 3f NH nov hdl (4-7yo) (3) gs in Jan.
That's The Deal (IRE) 11-1 (11-3) Held up in rear, raced keenly, ridden and weakened approaching 3 out, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Pearlysteps (11-0) at Towcester 2m nov hdl (4) sft in Feb, 8 ran.
The Rustlin Rhino 28-1 (11-4) Tracked leader and keen, weakened from 3 out, blundered last, 6th of 16, 38l behind Wishfull Thinking (11-11) at Exeter 2m 3f nov hdl (4) gs in Feb.
Towmater 25-1 (11-4) Raced wide, headway to chase leaders 4th, left disputing modest 3rd on bend after 3 out, weakened soon after, 10th of 12, well behind Sarando (11-4) at Lingfield 2m 3f nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Feb.
U B Carefull 66-1 (11-2) Held up in rear, headway and in touch approaching 3 out, weakened soon after, 7th of 11, 43l behind City Theatre (11-8) at Ffos Las 2m 4f NH nov hdl (4-7yo) (4) gs in Feb.
Very Edgy (IRE) 16-1 (11-2) Chased leaders, weakened approaching 2 out, 8th of 12, 40l behind Ranjobaie (10-9) at Market Rasen 2m 3f nov hdl (3) gs in Feb.
Princess Of Moscow (IRE) 66-1 (10-6) Always in rear, tailed off when blundered 3 out, 12th of 14, well behind Vino Griego (11-1) at Wincanton 2m nov hdl (4) hvy in Jan.
Spring Haze 250-1 (10-2) Held up towards rear, pushed along 5th, hit next, soon behind, mistake 3 out, tailed off, 9th of 12, 50l behind Great Reason (11-2) at Ludlow 2m NH mdn hdl (4) sft in Feb.
Diamond Eclipse (IRE) Double Eclipse gelding out of Glory-glory.