SECRET DESERT won a similar contest at Ayr last week when Soul Angel was a well-beaten fourth. Ferdy Murphy's six-year-old is the only one arriving here in any sort of form and should be good enough to defy his penalty. Billy Cuckoo weakened quickly over hurdles at Wetherby last week after making the early running. He may have needed that, however, and has at least had a recent run unlike Fightstar and Shoal Bay Dreamer.
Billy Cuckoo (IRE) 50-1 (11-2) Led, headed 4th chased leaders, weakened 4 out, pulled up soon after, in a race won by Purcell's Bridge (10-9) at Wetherby 2m 6f cond nov hcp hdl 0-105 (4) gs, 14 ran.
Fightstar (FR) 16-1 (11-0) Tracked leader, jumped big 1st, stumbled and demoted to 3rd 6th, mistake and reminder next, mistake 4 out, held when mistake 3 out, hit last, 3rd of 4, 15l behind Gray Mountain (11-0) at Perth 2m beg chase (4) sft in May '11.
Soul Angel 20-1 (10-8) Led until 3rd, soon ridden along, chased leaders until weakened 4 out, 4th of 5, 37l behind Secret Desert (9-11) at Ayr 2m 4f hcp 0-100 (5) sft.
Secret Desert 11-1 (9-11) Held up, not fluent 4th, went 3rd when not fluent 13th, went 2nd last, led flat, stayed on well, won at Ayr 2m 4f hcp 0-100 (5) sft beating Tutchec (11-9) by 1 1/4l, 5 ran.
Shoal Bay Dreamer 13-2 (10-8) Chased leaders, outpaced 3 out (usual 4 out), weakened before 2 out, 4th of 6, 18l behind Delgany Gunner (10-0) at Uttoxeter 2m 5f hcp chs 0-100 (5) sft in May.