A nice prize has attracted a decent line-up with Sea Lord chasing a five-timer after gaining the most impressive victory of his career to date in the Summer Hurdle at Market Rasen last time, though whether he's improving quickly enough to defy a further 13lb hike in the weights is debatable. Solaras Exhibition has gone up 10lb for a five-length win at Stratford and may struggle but Hawkshill was highly tried last season, though hasn't raced since December. AZIF still looks well weighted after beating a subsequent winner by 28 lengths at Bangor. He can take this step up in grade in his stride, though the quicker ground will also suit Shadow Catcher.
Sea Lord (IRE) 9-2fav (11-1) Held up in touch, headway before 3 out, led soon after, ridden before last, kept on well, ridden out, won at Market Rasen 2m 1f Listed hcp hdl (1) gd in Jul beating Coffee (10-10) by 1 1/2l, 14 ran.
Shadow Catcher 25-1 (10-8) Mid-division early, 8th halfway, ridden before 2 out, no impression 2 out, kept on one pace, 10th of 20, 26l behind Missunited (10-8) at Galway 2m hcp hdl sft.
Now This Is It (IRE) 9-4fav (11-12) Took keen hold tracking leaders, challenging when reached for 12th and eventually unseated rider 12th, in a race won by Current Event (11-4) at Perth 2m 4f hcp chs 0-140 (3) gf in Jun, 7 ran.
Solaras Exhibition (IRE) 5-2 (11-11) Tracked leaders, not fluent 3 out, challenged 2 out, soon led, clear before last, eased final 100 yards, won at Stratford 2m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gf in Jul beating Rime Avec Gentil (10-6) by 5l, 6 ran.
Hawkhill (IRE) 20-1 (11-2) Tracked leaders, went 2nd approaching 3 out, lost place before next, soon weakened, 16th of 17, well behind Dark Lover (11-8) at Cheltenham 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) hvy in Dec.
Aazif (IRE) 4-6fav (11-10) Made all, clear until 4th, clear again before 2 out, unchallenged, won at Bangor 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) gf in Jul beating Kettlewell (10-10) by 28l, 5 ran.
Outrageous Request 5-1 (11-1) Held up in rear, outpaced before 2 out, headway before last, led run-in, held on well, won at Perth 2m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs in Jul beating Howwoulduno (10-8) by 1/2l, 7 ran.