Alan King's NORMAN THE GREAT gets the nominaton to bring the curtain down on the card in a positive manner for punters, while Pterodactyl is among the stronger opponents. Norman The Great put up a very good performance in context when runner up to 140-rated Leo's Lucky Star at Ascot last time and probably ran to a mark in the mid 120s that day. A reproduction or any improvement on that effort should be good enough to break his duck over hurdles. Pterodactyl was given too much to do at Towcester in April and if given a more positive ride he is entitled to get involved, though he'd have to improve a fair bit to beat the selection. Circus Of Dreams is an interesting hurdling debutant representing a yard who had a winner recently and looks one to watch with cut in the ground set to suit. Cross Compliance drops back in trip, which is not certain to suit, and needs to show more than on his reappearance, and Flow Gently Along looks a better proposition and she can come on for her recent Towcester debut over timber. Norman The Great's Ascot run marks him out as the one to beat though and he can land this prize.
Ballyveeney (IRE) 66-1 (10-12) Held up, hit 2nd, some progress after 5th, no further impression from 3 out, 5th of 11, well behind Mahonia (10-12) at Exeter 2m 1f nov hdl (3) gs.
Bukhara (FR) 8-1 (10-7) Held up towards rear, headway approaching 7th, mistake 9th, soon pushed along, hung left after 3 out, weakened approaching last, 5th of 14, 18l behind Freschezza (10-7) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f mdn hdl (4) gf in Jun.
Circus of Dreams 2-1fav (11-4) Mid-division, headway 7f out, ridden 3f out, weakened inside final furlong, 3rd of 11, 12l behind Quail (10-13) at Worcester 2m mdn nhf (6) sft in Apr.
Cross Compliance (IRE) 12-1 (11-0) Held up mid-division, ridden four out, one pace and held from 3 out, 6th of 15, 35l behind The Gossmoor Yank (11-0) at Chepstow 2m 4f mdn hdl (5) gs.
Exit to Luck (GER) 33-1 (10-12) Prominent, pushed along after 6th, weakened approaching 3 out, 7th of 13, 36l behind Colisay (10-9) at Uttoxeter 2m nov hdl (4) gs.
Johnny Harris (IRE) (12-0) behind Project Gallery (12-0) at Lismore 3m ire ptp gs in Mar, 9 ran.
Norman The Great 8-1 (10-12) In touch, headway 3 out, every chance when not fluent 2 out, kept on for 2nd, no chance with winner, 2nd of 9, 3l behind Leo's Lucky Star (11-8) at Ascot 2m nov hdl (3) gd.
Prince Des Marais (FR) 25-1 (10-12) Pulled hard, held up mid-division, headway after 3rd, not fluent 3 out, soon weakened, 10th of 14, 29l behind Levera (11-4) at Huntingdon 2m nov hdl (3) gd in Oct.
Private Aye (IRE) 40-1 (11-0) Mid-division, mistake 2nd, headway 8th, weakened 3 out, 6th of 10, 42l behind St Mellion Freeway (11-0) at Worcester 3m mdn hdl (5) gf in Jul.
Pterodactyl (IRE) 11-2 (11-0) Mid-division, raced keenly, lost place when mistake 5th, stayed on to go 5th approaching 2 out, ran on well approaching last, went 2nd flat, closing on winner towards finish, too much to, 2nd of 14, 2l behind Pop (11-7) at Towcester 2m no.
Short Straw (IRE) 100-1 (11-0) In touch, mistake 1st, not jump well, behind from 5th, tailed off when pulled up 3 out in race won by The Snail (11-0) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f mdn hdl (5) gf in Jun, 15 ran.
Smart Alex (IRE) 100-1 (10-12) Chased leaders, weakened approaching 8th, tailed off when pulled up 3 out in race won by Great Endeavour (11-5) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) gs in Oct, 15 ran.
The Hollinwell 14-1 (10-12) Held up in rear, not fluent 5th or 6th, behind when mistake 8th, tailed off, 10th of 15, 45l behind Great Endeavour (11-5) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) gs in Oct.
Uncle Lionel 66-1 (10-7) Keen hold in rear, hit 3rd, headway approaching 8th, struggling after 9th, 7th and behind when fell 2 out in race won by Carys's Lad (10-12) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) gf in Nov '07, 11 ran.
Flow Gently Along (IRE) 16-1 (10-5) Raced keenly, prominent, lost place after 2nd, headway approaching 3 out, stayed on same pace approaching last, 3rd of 15, 8l behind Charmaine Wood (10-10) at Towcester 2m mrs nov hdl (4) gd in Oct.
Overdante 20-1 (9-12) In rear, mistake 2nd, blundered 6th and rider lost iron, soon tailed off, 8th of 12, well behind Another Brother (10-12) at Uttoxeter 2m 6f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Oct.