Alan King won this in 2011 so his Iron Chancellor has to go on the short-list reverting to hurdles. He won over fences at Southwell in January and is probably a bit more reliable than the disappointing Finnegan Paddy. Kempton second Definite Chance has plenty of scope for improvement but Duke Of Monmouth looked one-paced when runner-up a couple of times in the spring and may do better in handicaps. THE MUSICAL GUY has already gone down that route, finishing fourth at Cheltenham in April and then second at Stratford, but his overall form looks the best on offer in this and he can finally open his account.
Definite Chance (IRE) 20-1 (10-12) Held up in rear, not fluent 2nd, went 6th after 3 out, 4th when not fluent 2 out, stayed on to take 2nd flat, no chance with winner, 2nd of 12, 11l behind Le Bec (10-12) at Kempton 2m 5f nov hdl (4) gd in Oct.
Duke Of Monmouth (IRE) 4-5fav (10-13) Tracked leaders, went 2nd 5th, ridden 9th, not fluent 3 out, soon demoted to 3rd and outpaced, mistake 2 out, stayed on same pace last, went 2nd flat, no chance with winner, 2nd of 6, 5l behind Spanish Optimist (10-13) at Uttoxeter 3m nov hdl (4) gs in May.
Finnegan Paddy (IRE) 4-6fav (10-7) Chased leaders, hit 6th, led briefly 3 out, soon headed, effort after next, weakened last, 4th of 5, 27l behind About Thyne (10-12) at Hexham 3m nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Oct.
Handsome Buddy (IRE) 100-1 (10-7) Held up in touch in rear, not fluent, weakened 7th, tailed off, 8th of 10, well behind Wilton Milan (11-0) at Worcester 2m 4f mdn hdl (5) gs in Oct.
Iron Chancellor (IRE) 7-1 (11-9) Tracked leaders, hit 5th, mistake 9th, outpaced before 3 out, soon weakened, 7th of 14, 32l behind Ballyfoy (11-7) at Cheltenham 3m 4f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gs in Apr.
Marico (FR) 125-1 (11-0) Held up in touch in rear, mistake 2nd, not fluent next, ridden 5th, behind from next, tailed off, 9th of 10, well behind Wilton Milan (11-0) at Worcester 2m 4f mdn hdl (5) gs in Oct.
Market Option (IRE) 3-1fav (11-4) Tracked leaders, outpaced 4 out, moderate 4th when weakened before next, tailed off, 4th of 8, well behind Highland Retreat (10-4) at Exeter 2m 7f am nov hdl (4) gs in Oct.
Original Star (IRE) 25-1 (11-0) Held up mid-division, kept on from 2 out, no impression, 5th of 12, 21l behind Gas Line Boy (11-0) at Wincanton 2m 6f mdn hdl (4) gs in Oct.
The Musical Guy (IRE) 13-2 (11-9) Mid-division, headway 10th, chased leaders 3 out, edged left and held when left 2nd last, stayed on same pace flat, 2nd of 14, 3 1/2l behind Tartan Tiger (11-0) at Stratford 3m 3f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gd in May.
Waterford Star (IRE) 8-1 (11-10) Chased leaders, good headway to lead inside final 6f, ridden and headed 3f out, chased leader until ridden 2f out, soon hit running rail, weakened well over 1f out, 9th of 15, 18l behind Tartan Jura (11-9) at Goodwood 2m hcp 0-70 (5) sft in Oct (flat).