DANEHILL WILLY is taken to land the opener at the expense of Joe Jo Star and Royal Rational. The selection had a year off through injury before running well to finish a close fourth on his return to the track in the Swinton Handicap Hurdle at Haydock. He then broke his maiden tag over fences at the first time of asking at Ffos Las. He battled well that day and if recapturing his best form now that he is sent back over hurdles he will prove difficult to beat. Jo Jo Star has had success on the flat since beating the selection at Haydock in the Swinton. He is however eight pounds worse off for his troubles and we feel that the difference in weights may well be enough to see the placing reversed. That said he is still a danger and should be treated with respect. Royal Rational won off a mark of 128 at Newton Abbot in May but has been well held since in similar races so is possibly best watched for the time being. This is a hot contest and Danehill Willy is taken to outclass his rivals.
Katies Tuitor 8-1 (11-8) Chased leaders, mistake and lost place 5th, stayed on one pace from 2 out, 4th of 7, 11l behind Snap Tie (11-5) at Kempton 2m hdl (2) gd in Oct.
Joe Jo Star 16-1 (11-0) Held up mid-division, steady headway after 4 out, went 2nd between last 2, hard ridden and stayed on to lead flat, won at Haydock 2m hcp hdl G3 (1) gd in May beating Ellerslie Tom (11-0) by 1/2l, 24 ran.
Royal Rationale (IRE) 13-2 (11-9) Held up in last, still going well after 3 out, effort approaching 2 out, no impression, 8th of 13, 11l behind Oceana Gold (11-9) at Stratford 2m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gd in May.
Ellerslie Tom 9-4 (11-12) Led, ridden and headed after 2 out, soon weakened, 6th of 7, 13l behind Toshi (11-0) at Perth 2m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gf.
Is It Me (USA) 16-1 (11-12) With leader, led 2nd to 4th, remained prominent, led after 3 out, clear when blundered last, driven flat, stayed on gamely, won at Stratford 2m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gd beating Bedizen (11-2) by 3l, 8 ran.
Danehill Willy (IRE) 5-2 (10-12) Tracked leader, hit 10th, driven and every chance next, led last, ridden out, won at Ffos Las 2m nov stks (3) gd in Jun beating Mam Ratagan (10-12) by 1 1/2l, 9 ran.
Toshi (USA) 6-1 (11-0) Held up in rear, headway after 2 out, led last, kept on, won at Perth 2m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gf beating Spirit of The Mist (9-7) by 2l, 7 ran.
Ameeq (USA) 8-1 (11-5) In touch, hit 5th, not fluent next, soon challenging, led 3, pressed when left clear 2 out, blundered last, ran on well, won at Uttoxeter 2m hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gd in May beating Ben Ami (10-12) by 11l, 13 ran.
Silmi 11-4 (11-5) Held up behind leaders, led 7th to 8th, led 9th to 11th, led 4 out, jumped right and strongly pressed when bumped 2 out, stayed on well flat, won at Worcester 2m 4f nov stks (4) gf in Jun beating Helm (10-12) by 2 3/4l, 7 ran.
Mister Benedictine 9-1 (11-12) Held up, chased leaders 3 out, led approaching next, headed after last, kept on, 3rd of 9, 2 3/4l behind Mickmacmagoole (11-3) at Market Rasen 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd in Jun.
Cootehill (IRE) 5-4fav (11-5) Held up in 4th, improved 5th, went 2nd before next, led approaching 2 out, clear when went right last, comfortably, won at Stratford 2m nov hdl (4) gd beating Quell The Storm (11-5) by 7l, 7 ran.
Treaty Flyer (IRE) 9-4fav (11-2) Prominent, led 4th, soon headed, led next, not fluent 3 out, soon headed, lost 2nd 2 out, one pace, 3rd of 8, 6l behind Is It Me (11-12) at Stratford 2m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gd.
Picot de Say 11-1 (11-2) Mid-division, raced keenly, hit 5th, headway 3 out, led going well last, ridden flat, stayed on, won at Aintree 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd in May beating Farmers Cross (10-9) by 1l, 11 ran.