With Viper having not seemed to enjoy his first try over fences the way looks clear for IKORODU ROAD providing he's raring to go after an absence; Another Trump and Edgeover are others to consider. Our pick ran really well behind a well handicapped Paul Nicholls inmate when makign his debut over fences in November. That was a warm novice handicap and he emerged with plenty of credit in going down by a couple of lengths and his subsequent rating of 124 suggests a race like this should be within his compass. He's already won after an absence too, so with top jockey Jason Maguire on board we can expect him to be firing on all cyclinders and that'll make this seven-year-old tough to beat. Viper is rated 134 over hurdles and if he can bring that form over to fences then clearly he's got excellent claims. However, recent efforts over timber suggest that mark rather flatters him and he didn't impress on his first try over larger obstacles at Ludlow. That was in a better race and this longer trip may enable the gelding to get into a better rhythm, but we're not prepared to chance him until he shows more. Another Trump was similarly unconvincing last time but he's capable of better and should enjoy slightly slower conditions, with the return to a right-handed track also likely to be in his favour as his sole victory today came at the not dissimilar Huntingdon. Edgeover has his sights lowered after racing in fair company over the winter and his second to French Opera over this trip at Ascot reads very well in the context of this race. That came after a year-long absence so his 200 day break isn't a worry and Paul Webber's charge must have claims, although as with Reel Missile he's got a bit to find with our selection Ikorodu Road.
Another Trump (NZ) 9-4 (11-0) Not fluent, held up, mistakes 1st and 2nd, went right next, hit 9th, left 3rd 11th, went modest 2nd 14th, no chance with winner when blundered and dropped to 3rd 3 out, weakened to 4th last, 4th of 7, well behind Baddam (11-0) at Worcester 2m 7f beg chase (4) gf in May.
Edgeover 14-1 (11-2) Tracked leaders, not fluent 6th, blundered 12th, soon under pressure, weakened before 4 out, 5th of 10, well behind Khachaturian (11-2) at Kempton 3m beg chs (4) gs in Nov.
Ikorodu Road 6-1 (11-7) Mid-division, headway after 5th, outpaced when hit 3 out, rallied last, stayed on well flat to go 2nd final 100yds, closed on winner, no impression, 2nd of 11, 2l behind Rivaliste (11-4) at Newbury 2m 2f nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) gs in Nov.
Reel Missile 12-1 (10-6) Led unti headed before 2 out, soon weakened, 7th of 10, 30l behind Spare Me (10-13) at Market Rasen 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gd in May.
Springfield Raki 6-1 (10-12) Jumped very deliberately, led after 2nd until next, in touch, last after 7th, weakened 3 out, tailed off, 4th of 5, 31l behind Thumbs Up (10-12) at Cartmel 2m 1f nov chs (4) gd in May.
Still Calm 6-1 (10-9) Held up in 3rd, left chasing winner 5th, no chance approaching 2 out, 2nd of 3, 26l behind Right Or Wrong (11-8) at Perth 2m clm hdl (5) gf in May.
Viper 14-1 (10-12) Led until 2nd, pressed winner until after 9th, weakened approaching 4 out, tailed off, last of 4, 47l behind King Edmund (11-5) at Ludlow 2m nov chs (4) gd in Mar.