Somersby won this three years ago but there may not be anything of his ability in the line-up this year. Hazy Tom probably just needed the run behind Creekside at Towcester last month, however, and may be capable of better while Shangani was backed to beat the prolific Hawkhill over hurdles at Southwell in the spring and will have had plenty of schooling. Likewise Cantlow, though this looks much too sharp for Paul Webber's gelding. ZAFRANAGAR has won three times on the Flat and over hurdles and had a blow-out on the level last month. He could be the answer to this if his jumping holds up as he probably has more pace than his rivals.
Cantlow (IRE) 6-1fav (11-5) Held up towards rear, headway before and blundered 2 out, one pace when hampered last, 5th of 18, 6l behind American Spin (10-13) at Haydock 3m hcp hdl (2) sft in May.
Finch Flyer (IRE) 33-1 (10-11) Mid-division, effort 3 out, beaten when not fluent 2 out, 5th of 10, 15l behind Natural High (11-6) at Worcester 2m hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gd in Oct.
Go On Arch (IRE) 66-1 (10-12) Behind, ridden and struggling before 5th, tailed off and pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Carrigmorna King (10-12) at Newbury 2m 3f nov hdl (4) sft in Jan, 16 ran.
Hazy Tom (IRE) 5-4fav (11-3) Held up behind, headway 8th, not fluent on outside 3 out, chased leaders under pressure next, ridden and no impression between last 2, 6th of 11, 16l behind Creekside (10-7) at Towcester 2m beg chs (4) gf in Oct.
Henry Hurst (IRE) 50-1 (11-2) Chased leader, blundered and fell 6th, in a race won by Molotof (11-2) at Taunton 2m nov chs (4) gd in Oct, 11 ran.
Shangani (USA) 4-6fav (11-5) Tracked leader, led 2nd, driven when headed approaching 2 out, weakened flat, 3rd of 8, 7l behind Hawkhill (11-5) at Southwell 2m nh nov hdl (4) sft in May.
Witness That (IRE) 33-1 (11-0) Mid-division, mistake 5th, headway 7th, weakened approaching 2 out, 6th of 9, 33l behind Fox Run (11-0) at Worcester 2m 4f mdn hdl (5) gs in Oct.
Zafranagar (IRE) 10-1 (10-11) Mid-division, headway after 5th, ridden approaching 3 out, weakened before last, 4th of 11, 29l behind Balgarry (11-7) at Newbury 2m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs in Mar.