Mr Woods was good value for his win over course and distance in a novices' handicap last month but he struggled to follow up under a penalty at Kelso subsequently and may have too much to do giving weight away all round in a race taken to go DIVERS, who gets the vote ahead of Present Gesture. Gordon Elliott's mare won her novices' hurdle at Newton Abbot in good fashion and was not disgraced in a handicap at Cheltenham last time so she has to be respected. So Billiant, another raider from Ireland, won a handicap hurdle at Cork last time in good fashion and she has to be considered. More solid claims are probably held by another Irish-trained challenger Ian Ferguson's Winning Counsel, who was the good winner of a hunter chase at Downpatrick when last seen in March and she receives plenty of weight from her rivals. Fool's Wildcat has claims on bits and pieces of form but he remains a maiden over hurdles and looks best watched in a race taken to go Divers. Ferdy Murphy's gelding has run well in all three starts since landing a maiden hurdle at Musselburgh in December, showed improved form stepped up in trip at Aintree and he is taken to resume winning ways.
Mr Woods 3-1fav (11-7) Led, ridden 2 out, headed approaching last and soon one pace, 6th of 10, 6l behind Political Paddy (11-2) at Kelso 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gd in Apr.
Divers (FR) 9-2fav (11-10) Patiently ridden in rear, headway going well before 3 out, weakened flat, 5th of 13, 20l behind Giovanna (11-4) at Aintree 3m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd.
So Billiant (IRE) 9-1 (10-12) Held up, headway 4 out, 3rd before straight, challenged in 2nd 3 out, ridden to lead before next, strongly pressed run-in, kept on well under pressure, won at Cork 3m hcp hdl 0-102 gd in Mar beating Skip Two (11-9) by nk, 23 ran.
Hurricane Warning (IRE) 100-1 (10-2) Led 2nd, still headed 7th, weakened from next, 7th of 10, well behind Grand Theatre (10-12) at Kelso 2m 6f nov hdl (4) sft in Nov.
Present Gesture (IRE) 16-1 (9-7) Held up, headway to chase leaders before 2 out, weakened before last, 5th of 12, 14l behind How's Business (10-6) at Cheltenham 2m 5f mrs lst hdl (1) gd in Apr.
Fool's Wildcat (USA) 25-1 (10-5) Towards rear, some headway to moderate 9th before straight, ridden into 5th 2 out, no impression leaders, kept on one pace, 5th of 15, 7l behind Persian City (11-10) at Down Royal 2m 6f hdl gd.
Winning Counsel (IRE) 4-1 (11-4) Chased leader in 2nd, led 5th, ridden and challenged approaching 2 out, kept on well from last, won at Downpatrick 2m 5f hts chs gd in Mar beating Ross An Ri (11-7) by 6l, 13 ran.