Smart Ruler's double penalty for last year's victories will make things tough for him. KINGS BANDIT is also penalised for his debut win over hurdles at Ludlow in February. But the runner-up has subsequently won so the form looks solid enough and Donald McCain's charge can go in again. Ginger Fizz is another recent winner she's preferred to Newcastle third Viking Chief but Teescomponents Max is worth noting on his first start over timber.
Smart Ruler (IRE) 8-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders, pushed along after 4 out, weakened 2 out, 6th of 9, 12l behind Kudu Country (11-4) at Haydock 2m hcp hdl 0-140 (3) gd in Mar.
Kings Bandit (IRE) 3-1 (11-2) Made all, came stands side 3 out, ridden next, hit last, stayed on strongly, drew clear flat, won at Ludlow 2m nov hdl (4) sft in Feb beating Simply A Legend (11-2) by 8l, 9 ran.
Ginger Fizz 8-1 (10-9) Tracked clear leader, challenged 2 out, soon led, edged left before last, kept on well, driven out, won at Chepstow 2m mrs nov hdl (4) gd in Mar beating Northern Meeting (10-5) by 1 1/2l, 14 ran.
Laird Of Monksford (IRE) 8-1 (11-4) Tracked leaders, ridden and weakened 4f out, 5th of 6, 26l behind Tom Lamb (10-4) at Sedgefield 2m 1f NH flat (6) hvy in Feb.
Mcmonagle (IRE) 25-1 (10-13) Mid-division, ridden in 10th entering straight, no extra before last, 9th of 22, 27l behind Passage Vendome (11-12) at Punchestown 2m mdn hdl gd in May '12.
Teescomponents Max 16-1 (11-2) Held up in rear, headway over 3f out, weakened over 1f out, 7th of 13, 16l behind Supasundae (10-9) at Wetherby 2m NH flat (6) gd in Mar.
Viking Chief (IRE) 25-1 (10-10) Held up, mistake 6th, headway after 4 out, jinked right and went 3rd 2 out, stayed on same pace, no chance with winner, 3rd of 7, 12l behind Boondooma (11-1) at Newcastle 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Mar.
Bold And Free 100-1 (10-4) Mid-division, pushed along before 4th, never dangerous, 6th of 17, well behind Oliver's Hill (11-0) at Wetherby 2m mdn hdl (5) gd in Mar.
Red Joker (IRE) 100-1 (10-4) Held up towards rear, pushed along and weakened after 4 out, 8th of 17, well behind Oliver's Hill (11-0) at Wetherby 2m mdn hdl (5) gd in Mar.
Bulas Belle 20-1 (9-11) In rear, detached after 3rd, tailed off, 5th of 9, 50l behind Dark Dune (11-6) at Sedgefield 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) gd in Mar.