Only five runners in this novice chase but an interesting contest nevertheless. Saute won three times over hurdles last year and will have needed the run when pulled up at Aintree last month. He can make his mark over the larger obstacles but EASTLAKE also has plenty of untapped potential. Jonjo O'Neill's six-year-old never figured when well backed for a competitive handicap hurdle at Ascot in February but has a chasing pedigree and could be one to follow over the coming months. Another newcomer to fences, Grafite, has winning form on soft ground and could also figure if his jumping holds up but Red Hot Poker may be best watched after a long absence and Helium has proved disappointing so far.
Eastlake (IRE) 5-1 (9-9) Took keen hold, held up towards rear, steady headway approaching 5th, went 2nd before 7th, challenged and hit 3 out, weakened before next, 10th of 18, 28l behind Bourne (9-11) at Ascot 2m 3f hcp hdl (2) gs in Feb.
Grafite 20-1 (11-5) Held up in touch on inside, chased leading pair before 4 out, kept on same pace under pressure from next, no impression when lost 3rd near finish, 4th of 10, 10l behind Shoegazer (11-12) at Chepstow 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) sft in Apr.
Helium (FR) 25-1 (11-6) Always towards rear, fell 3 out, in a race won by Shamiran (11-4) at Punchestown 2m 4f Conditional Handicap Hurdle (95-123) (4yo+) hvy in Apr, 25 ran.
Red Hot Poker 5-2 (11-12) Chased leaders, led after 4th, ridden and kept on well from last, comfortably, won at Bellewstown 3m mdn hdl sft in Aug '09 beating Let The Show Begin (11-4) by 4 1/2l, 11 ran.
Saute 40-1 (10-2) In touch, weakened before 3 out, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Lifestyle (11-2) at Aintree 2m cond hcp hdl (2) gd in Apr, 21 ran.