HERNE BAY is a hopeful selection in a race where few of the runners can be ruled out with any degree of confidence. Dakota Boy has been given time to recover from his surprise win at Worcester but he did have quite a hard race and it remains to be seen whether he can reproduce that but the handicapper has given him a chance with just a 5lb rise. Winsley Hill ran no race last time but he is capable and similar remarks apply to Mumbles Pier who reverts to hurdling having struggled over fences. Mzuri Bay, Sea Cliff and Dunkelly Castle would all be of interest if the market were to emit positive vibes whilst Cubism has been running well but over shorter and he isn't certain to see out this trip. Stamina is of no concern for Herne Bay however and Ian Williams's charge returned from a long absence to finish a good second over slightly shorter at Uttoxeter. A 5lb rise for that run is not ideal but he did win over course and distance from this perch back in 2007 so he's not badly handicapped on his best form and may be able to go one better if avoiding the bounce factor.
Winsley Hill 8-1 (11-12) Mid-division on inside, took keen hold, lost place after 6th, reminders in last after next, lost touch next, tailed off, 9th of 10, well behind Ripalong Lad (11-5) at Uttoxeter 3m hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gd.
Herne Bay (IRE) 9-1 (11-3) Held up towards rear, headway 9th, chased winner last, no impression towards finish, 2nd of 13, 2 3/4l behind Breaking Storm (11-7) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gf in Jun.
Mumbles Pier (IRE) 11-4 (10-12) Blundered badly 1st, no chance after, pulled up before 5th, in a race won by Baily Storm (11-12) at Worcester 2m 7f nov chs (4) gf in Jun, 6 ran.
Mzuri Bay 9-4 (10-12) Took keen hold, awkward 1st, tracked winner until 7th, weakening when not fluent 3 out, tailed off, 4th of 5, well behind Downward Spiral (10-12) at Towcester 3m nov hdl (4) gd in May.
Dakota Boy (IRE) 40-1 (11-4) Held up in rear, hampered on bend approaching 5th, headway when hampered 6th, went 2nd next, closed 2 out, led flat, driven out, won at Worcester 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-110 (4) gf in Jun beating Cannon Fire (10-10) by hd, 9 ran.
Dunkelly Castle (IRE) 33-1 (11-0) Towards rear, reminders after 7th, pushed along approaching next, never dangerous, 9th of 16, 23l behind Elusive Muse (10-7) at Taunton 3m hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gs in Apr.
Sea Cliff (IRE) 14-1 (11-5) Held up mid-division, weakened from 3 out, 8th of 10, well behind Tout Regulier (11-2) at Market Rasen 2m 5f cond hcp hdl 0-1115 (4) gf.
Cubism 33-1 (10-6) Tracked leaders, ridden after 2 out in 3rd, kept on same pace, 3rd of 12, 10l behind Ajman (10-2) at Hereford 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-120 (3) gf in Jun.
McQueen (IRE) 14-1 (11-1) Chased leaders, lost place 3rd and raced on outside after, headway after 9th, weakened 3 out, 9th of 13, 29l behind Very Stylish (11-6) at Uttoxeter 3m hcp hdl 0-110 (4) gf.