Crafty Roberto was a faller at Huntingdon yesterday so it's doubtful he'll take his chance here and that may leave the way open for ALAYIR to make a winning start to his hurdles career. He's a half-brother to several smart performers, including Group 3 winner Alayan and hurdler Alaivan, and won on the Flat in Ireland in the summer for John Oxx. French import Nova Sam is another interesting newcomer while Memorabilia looks the best of those with experience, though was very disappointing when odds-on at Wetherby in October and hasn't been seen since. Flying Phoenix was second in a fillies' race at Leicester last month but the form of that contest appears modest.
Alayir (IRE) 7-1 (8-7) Mid-division best, ridden and no impression straight, 14th of 18, 42l behind Harrison's Cave (9-2) at Navan 1m 5f hcp 60-90 sft in Oct (flat).
Corsican Boy 10-1 (8-10) Held up towards rear, ridden on inside 3f out, no response, eased when no chance over 1f out, 10th of 11, 17l behind Sour Mash (9-7) at Newbury 1m 2f hcp 0-85 (4) gs in Sep (flat).
Crafty Roberto 80-1 (10-12) Held up in rear, headway from 4 out, ridden and weakened from 2 out, 6th of 7, 9l behind Royal Bonsai (11-2) at Doncaster 2m 3yo hdl Grd 2 (1) gs in Dec.
Memorabilia 10-11fav (10-5) With leader, ridden and weakened after 4 out, 5th of 11, 49l behind Chadford (10-12) at Wetherby 2m 3yo mdn hdl (5) gs in Oct.
Nova Sam (FR) (9-2) 3rd of 5, 2l behind Bermuda Best (9-2) at Bordeaux-le Bouscat(FR) 1m 4f stk gd in Oct (flat).
Orthodox Lad 15-2 (9-4) Tracked leader, led over 3f out, ridden over 2f out, pressed entering final furlong, kept on gamely, just held on, won at Salisbury 1m 2f 3yo hcp 0-70 (5) gd in Oct beating Oetzi (9-0) by shd, 11 ran (flat).
Sporting Boy (IRE) 66-1 (10-12) Took keen hold, always behind, struggling before 3 out, tailed off, 5th of 9, 48l behind Urbain De Sivola (10-12) at Newbury 2m 3yo hdl (3) gs in Nov.
Blowing A Hoolie (IRE) 9-1 (8-7) Behind, under pressure halfway, never a factor, 5th of 8, 12l behind Dew Reward (8-12) at Lingfield 1m 4f 3yo sell stks (6) pol in Jun (flat).
Flying Phoenix 50-1 (10-3) Held up in rear, headway on outside approaching 3 out, mistake last, stayed on same pace, went 2nd last stride, no chance with winner, 2nd of 11, 5l behind Schism (10-8) at Leicester 2m juv fll nov hdl (3yo) (4) gs in Dec.
Goldmadchen (GER) 8-1 (10-8) Pressed leader, mistake 1st, led approaching 5th, headed when hampered 3 out, soon weakened, tailed off, 10th of 11, well behind Schism (10-8) at Leicester 2m juv fll nov hdl (3yo) (4) gs in Dec.
Lexi's Princess (IRE) 5-1 (8-6) With leaders, ridden over 1f out, edged left inside final furlong, no extra towards finish, 3rd of 6, 2l behind Krypton Factor (9-1) at Hamilton 6f 2yo mdn aut (6) gf in Jun '10 (flat).