Beginners' chases are notoriously tricky affairs, with the runners looking to win over fences for the first time, and preference is for ACRAI RUA, whose hurdling form entitles him to overcome the challenges of Kanad and Viper. The last named has collected five races in his career but has yet to shine over fences, although finishing runner-up last time he was well beaten and is taken on. Kanad's most recent success came in selling class, but there was enough about his second placed effort last time to suggest he can play a leading role here. However, Acrai Rua has a string of fine performances to his credit over hurdles, and sure to have been well schooled by his trainer, this unexposed performer can lose his maiden tag at the first time of asking over fences.
Acrai Rua (IRE) 11-8fav (10-12) Tracked leaders, with leaders 4 out, ridden and every chance approaching 2 out, kept on from next, always held by winner, 2nd of 9, 3l behind Red Twist (10-9) at Newton Abbot 2m 6f nh nov hdl (4) gd in May.
Kanad 14-1 (10-9) Held up, headway to chase leaders 4 out, ridden approaching 3 out, kept on to take 2nd near finish, no chance with winner, 2nd of 7, 15l behind Nintytwo Team (11-0) at Fontwell 2m 2f beg chase (4) gd.
Spiritonthemount (USA) 40-1 (11-1) Always behind, tailed off when pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Shore Thing (11-5) at Towcester 2m 5f clm hdl (5) gf in Apr, 14 ran.
The Hairy Mutt (IRE) 50-1 (10-5) Held up towards rear, not fluent 3rd, hit 7th, headway approaching 4 out, weakened before next, tailed off, 6th of 9, well behind Billie Magern (10-12) at Stratford 2m 7f nov chs (4) gf.
Thyne Spirit (IRE) 66-1 (11-0) Led until 6th, soon driven and lost place, rallied to lead after 9th, headed 11th, weakened after 3 out, 4th of 7, 32l behind Baren De Doc (11-0) at Towcester 2m 6f beg chase (4) gd in May.
Viper 6-1 (11-0) 3rd early, held up, headway 7th, pushed along after 4 out, weakened approaching 2 out, left modest 2nd last, 2nd of 7, 31l behind Edgeover (11-0) at Market Rasen 2m 4f beg chase (4) gd.
Little Girl 33-1 (10-0) Made most until 8th, ridden 11th, weakened from 6 out, 4th of 7, 40l behind Lydon House (11-10) at Cartmel 3m 6f hcp ch 0-125 (3) gd.
Outclass 28-1 (10-0) Towards rear, headway 5 out, one pace approaching 2 out, 4th of 12, 20l behind Over The Flow (11-6) at Newton Abbot 2m 5f nov hcp chs 0-100 (4) gd in May.