The veteran MIRJAN has been a credit to the Len Lungo yard over the years and while he is now only a shadow of his former self in terms of ability, the poor quality on show here means that his class might see him through and land his first victory hurdling victory in over four years. Still only 6lb lower than his last winning mark over hurdles, on the evidence of what he showed at Kelso earlier this month he will struggle in handicap company from that mark but in this grade, conceding minimal weight to rivals rated far inferior to him will be in his favour. The sound surface at this venue should also suit him. Albany is best suited by race conditions. Howard Johnson's charge only twice saw the racecourse last season, sluicing up at this venue on his first start for eight months in December before being beaten out of sight at Newbury. The handicapper gave him a hike of 16lb for his easy victory here and that quite possibly makes handicapping an unappealing proposition for connections. Given the wealth of talent at the yard, it is quite possible that a new home for Albany beckons should he score here. Three Lions was not allowed to dictate in the manner he succeeded to do when scoring on his two previous starts last time out. He faced nothing with ratings as high as the previous mentioned two in those contests which he won. Monolith is the second contender from the Lungo yard. With similar comments attached to Mirjan, flat racing is beyond them at this stage of their careers as they do not posses the necessary tactical speed to get involved. Sixteen go to post but those with realistic chances can be reduced to a smaller number and Mirjan, despite being in the latter stages of his career can land it.
Minster Lake 250-1 (10-5) Mid-division, weakened approaching 4 out, 11th of 16, well behind Diamond Frontier (10-12) at Hexham 2m 4f nov hdl (4) hvy.
Mirjan (IRE) 28-1 (11-9) Mid-division, ridden and kept on from 2 out, no chance with first two, 3rd of 13, 35l behind Twelve Paces (9-8) at Kelso 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft.
Monolith 8-1 (11-12) Tracked leaders, pushed along after 7th, outpaced 9th, weakened from 2 out, 6th of 7, 41l behind Ballyhale (10-0) at Wetherby 3m hcp hdl gd in Apr.
Ad Murum (IRE) 15-2 (11-3) Towards rear, hampered 7th, soon struggling, 7th of 17, 13l behind Box Wallah (11-2) at Kelso 2m 6f cnd hcp hdl 0-100 (4) gs in Oct.
Something Gold (FR) 18-1 (11-7) In touch, lost place after 4 out, soon weakened, 7th of 17, 28l behind Jane Doe (10-10) at Newcastle 3m hcp hdl 0-90 (5) gs.
Albany (IRE) 9-1 (11-12) Mid-division until weakened after 3 out, eased when beaten, 9th of 11, well behind Arrayou (10-13) at Newbury 3m hcp hdl 0-140 (2) gs in Feb.
Fair Spin 50-1 (11-12) Always behind, tailed off when pulled up 2 out in race won by Jane Doe (10-10) at Newcastle 3m hcp hdl 0-90 (5) gs, 17 ran.
Just Waz (USA) 100-1 (10-12) Behind, struggling halfway, 11th of 15, well behind Hills Of Aran (11-5) at Carlisle 3m 1f nov hdl (4) gd in Nov '07.
Nayodabayo (IRE) 6-1 (10-12) Led, cajoled along approaching 8th, reminders after next, headed 2 out, one pace, 3rd of 8, 4 1/2l behind Chunky Lad (10-5) at Uttoxeter 2m 6f sll hdl (5) gs.
Amjad 40-1 (10-10) Behind, struggling halfway, kept on one pace from 2 out, 4th of 15, 13l behind Boysterous (11-0) at Hexham 2m 4f sll hcp hdl 0-90 (5) hvy.
Mr Twins (ARG) 18-1 (10-2) Soon with leader until weakened 10th, tailed off when pulled up 4 out in race won by Chigorin (11-0) at Wetherby 2m 4f hcp chs 0-105 (4) gs, 12 ran.
Three Lions 4-1fav (11-8) Prominent, reminder after 5th, ridden 7th, weakened well before 3 out, 8th of 16, well behind Malakiya (11-8) at Ludlow 2m 5f sll hdl (4) gd in Oct.
Willie The Fish (IRE) 7-1 (10-9) With leader, lost place approaching 10th, 8th of 12, well behind Fresh Winter (11-4) at Catterick 3m 1f hcp hdl 0-120 (3) sft in Feb.
Alecia (IRE) 17-2 (11-7) Towards rear, driven after 3rd, ridden 6th, some progress, 5th of 13, 35l behind Huguenot (11-12) at Hereford 2m nov hcp chs 0-95 (5) gd.
Oops (IRE) 50-1 (9-13) Close up, ridden 4th, lost place next, last of 15, well behind King's Majesty (11-3) at Fakenham 2m hcp hdl 0-105 (4) gd in Oct.
Bawnafaugh (IRE) 40-1 (10-7) Pulled hard, in touch when fell 5 out in race won by Delightfully (10-5) at Sedgefield 2m 4f sll hdl (5) gs, 9 ran.