Musselburgh and Catterick winner Doyly Carte, who was third in a mares' Listed race at Taunton last time, looks the pick of Donald McCain's two runners and should go close, despite the penalties. But she has to give a stone, including weight-for-age allowance, to THREE KINGDOMS. The latter isn't one of John Ferguson's best novices but still boasts some decent form, including a second over course and distance on debut, and should get off the mark today. Cape Explorer won twice on the Flat but is much better on fast ground so a bigger danger may be Big Water, who was second to the smart Duke Of Navan on his hurdles bow and was a useful sort in bumpers last season.
Doyly Carte 8-1 (11-2) Tracked leader, ridden to lead briefly before 2 out, soon one pace, no impression with front pair between last 2, 3rd of 6, 13l behind Mischievous Milly (11-2) at Taunton 2m 1f Mares Novice Hurdle (Listed) (3yo+) (1) hvy in Dec.
Big Water (IRE) 8-1 (11-5) Tracked leaders, not fluent when hampered 1st, switched left flat, went 2nd towards finish, no impression on winner, 2nd of 13, 3l behind Duke Of Navan (11-12) at Kelso 2m nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Jan.
Fred Archer (IRE) 20-1 (8-12) Chased leaders on inner early, no threat from halfway, eased when beaten inside final furlong, 13th of 14, 24l behind Below Zero (8-11) at Dundalk 6f hcp pol in Aug '11 (flat).
Fred Willetts (IRE) 5-1 (9-2) Chased leaders, ridden well over 1f out, weakened over 1f out, 6th of 9, 4 1/2l behind Toga Tiger (9-2) at Wolverhampton 7f hcp 0-75 (5) pol in Jan (flat).
Monashee (IRE) 40-1 (11-6) Chased leaders to 5th, behind from next, tailed off when pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Alpha Victor (11-3) at Sedgefield 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Jan '12, 8 ran.
Sohcahtoa (IRE) 14-1 (10-12) Mid-division, lost place 3 out, weakened next, 9th of 12, 23l behind Perpetually (10-12) at Huntingdon 2m nh nov hdl (4) gf in Oct '11.
Special Mix 20-1 (10-7) Held up in rear, headway over 2f out, ridden over 1f out, kept on, 3rd of 8, 7l behind Hi George (10-7) at Doncaster 2m NH flat (6) gd in Jan '12.
Piece Of Magic 40-1 (11-5) Held up towards rear, some headway before 3 out, never dangerous, 7th of 10, 42l behind Eleven Fifty Nine (11-2) at Doncaster 2m mdn hdl (5) gs in Jan.
Cape Explorer 9-2 (9-5) Raced wide close up, tracked leader over 4f out, ridden 3f out, weakened over 1f out, 5th of 13, 17l behind Saaboog (9-0) at Southwell 1m 4f hcp 0-75 (5) fbs in Oct (flat).
Mightavago 40-1 (10-12) Mid-division, weakened over 4f out, 11th of 15, 43l behind Master Red (10-5) at Wetherby 1m 5f n h flat 3yo (6) sft in Dec.
Runswick Royal (IRE) 9-1 (11-0) Mid-division, headway 6f out, went 2nd inside final 2f, ridden and effort over 1f out, held inside final furlong, 2nd of 9, 3 1/2l behind Legacy Gold (10-9) at Sedgefield 2m 1f NH flat (6) hvy in Jan.
Three Kingdoms (IRE) 10-1 (10-7) Led until not fluent 3rd, led 7th, headed 2 out, edged left flat, one pace, 3rd of 16, 6l behind One Conemara (11-4) at Ludlow 2m 5f mdn hdl (4) sft.