There is little to choose between ARUMUN and Brave Villa but we will side with the first mentioned; Roofing Spirit is the other to consider. The selection is running right up to his best at present and he was only narrowly denied last time by Cheating Chance at Stratford. He should have no problems with the ground and in his current mood he looks well worth sticking with. Brave Villa chased home Tramantano at Aintree last time which was a sound effort considering he was returning from a break. He should fitter for that and he will go on the ground and he is respected. Roofing Spirit ran well when last seen out but he has been off the track since Boxing Day and he should be sharper for this run. Phillip Hobbs won this race last year but he will do well to repeat the feat here with Oiseau de Nuit. Arumun is narrowly preferred over Brave Villa.
Arumun (IRE) 17-2 (11-5) Led, hit 5th, soon headed, led again 3 out to 2 out, stayed on same pace, 2nd of 11, 4l behind Cheating Chance (11-2) at Stratford 2m 1f hcp chs 0-125 (3) gf in Oct.
Brave Villa (FR) 12-1 (10-7) Led, ridden approaching 2 out, headed approaching last, no extra towards finish, 2nd of 11, 3l behind Tramantano (11-4) at Aintree 2m hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft in Oct.
Roofing Spirit (IRE) 8-1 (11-2) Chased leader, led after 3rd, hit 4 out, ridden and headed 3 out, every chance 2 out and last, kept on flat but not pace of winner, 2nd of 8, 2l behind Letalus (11-2) at Wincanton 2m hcp chs 0-130 (3) sft in Dec.
Honour's Dream (FR) 2-1fav (11-12) Chased leaders, ridden approaching 3 out, no extra from last, 3rd of 12, 5l behind Carrietau (10-11) at Newcastle 2m hcp hdl 0-115 (4) hvy in Apr.
Sole Agent (IRE) 5-2jt-fav (10-12) Held up, cajoled from 7th, behind from 9th, tailed off when pulled up 4 out in race won by Master John (10-7) at Towcester 2m 3f nov chs (4) gs in Apr, 5 ran.
Oiseau de Nuit (FR) 7-1 (11-3) Held up, well behind, headway 8th, ridden and stayed on from 3 out, left distant 3rd last, 3rd of 9, 38l behind Sou'wester (11-12) at Wincanton 2m hcp chs 0-120 (3) gd in Apr.