A cracking contest for the time of year and no doubt a few of these will be back for the Summer Hurdle in a couple of weeks' time. Local Hero won that Listed race last year with Kayaan back in third. The top weight, last seen when just ahead of Rumble of Thunder in the Swinton Hurdle, may be capable of confirming form with May's course and distance winner on similar terms. First In The Queue took advantage of a drop in grade to score at Aintree last month and McCoy keeps the ride. But Nicky Henderson also runs Cape Express, who'll strip fitter for his run at Stratford while Smalib Monterg was placed twice on the Flat last month. Life And Soul's winning run was ended by Saint Roque at Newton Abbot but that was no disgrace while Va'vite and Mojolika are fit and in form. FORRESTERS FOLLY was in danger of becoming disappointing before springing a surprise at Ascot in April. He showed that was no fluke when narrowly failing to 12lb to a useful novice at Taunton and might be a bit of value on his handicap debut.
Local Hero (GER) 12-1 (11-3) Held up in rear, headway approaching last, ran on flat, went 3rd close home, no chance with leading pair, 3rd of 16, 20l behind Barizan (10-6) at Haydock 2m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) gd in May.
First In The Queue (IRE) 85-40fav (11-9) Mid-division, headway approaching 4th, challenged 6th, led after 3 out, driven out, won at Aintree 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs in Jun beating Aazif (11-5) by 3/4l, 9 ran.
Cape Express (IRE) 9-4fav (11-3) Tracked leaders on outside, not much room when not fluent 2nd, ridden and every chance 2 out, weakened before last, 10th of 11, 40l behind Coffee (10-3) at Stratford 2m hcp hdl (2) gf in Jun.
Smalib Monterg (FR) 11-8fav (11-4) Held up towards rear, headway before 8th, led 2 out, just held on, won at Newton Abbot 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gf in May beating Union Saint (11-1) by ns, 7 ran.
Life And Soul (IRE) 11-4 (11-8) Led, ridden and headed 2 out, beaten last, one pace, 2nd of 4, 5l behind Saint Roque (11-8) at Newton Abbot 2m 3f nh nov hdl (3) gf in Jun.
Rumble Of Thunder (IRE) 16-1 (10-8) Chased leaders, ridden after 3 out, no impression on front pair when pressing for places flat, stayed on same pace, 4th of 16, 20l behind Barizan (10-6) at Haydock 2m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) gd in May.
Kayaan 8-1 (11-5) Held up, headway 7th, went 2nd going well after 3 out, led before last where not fluent, ridden clear flat, ran on well, won at Market Rasen 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd in May beating Wake Your Dreams (11-3) by 6l, 9 ran.
Caravel (IRE) 4-1 (11-0) Held up in 5th, some headway when hampered 4 out, soon weakened, left 4th last, 4th of 7, 43l behind Kian's Delight (11-0) at Fakenham 2m beg chase (4) gd in Jun.
Forresters Folly 15-8 (11-5) Led, joined 3 out, hit and headed 2 out, kept on and held run-in, 2nd of 5, 4l behind Courtesy Call (10-7) at Taunton 2m 3f nh nov hdl (4) gf in May.
Swampfire (IRE) 15-2 (9-7) Mid-division, headway 3 out, every chance next, kept on same pace approaching last, 4th of 12, 10l behind Petit Robin (11-5) at Sandown 2m Listed hcp hdl (1) sft in Dec.
Va'vite (IRE) 7-4fav (10-9) Held up towards rear, headway after 3 out, soon chasing leaders, led 2 out, headed just after last, kept on well, 2nd of 7, 1l behind Dizzy River (10-7) at Market Rasen 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd in May.
Mojolika 15-8fav (11-6) Held up towards rear, headway 3 out, went 2nd before 2 out, led before last, kept on well, won at Carlisle 2m 1f nov hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gd in Apr beating Yorkist (11-1) by 12l, 7 ran.