A good mix of some well handicapped experienced campaigner and some up and coming youngsters makes this a compelling contest. Preference is for BADGER FOOT ahead of Fredo and Volador. The selection impressed when winning a point at Lemonfield in March but has taken his time to find his feet under Rules although the market has suggested that little has been expected of him on any of his four starts. However, there was some encouragement to be taken from his run in a novice hurdle at Chepstow where he showed improved form for the step up in trip and he looks to be coming to hand. Fredo has his stamina to prove at this trip but he caught the eye staying on from off the pace over a fractionally shorter trip at Cheltenham when a couple of lengths behind Attorney General who has proved disappointing since. Dastardly Dick took a heavy fall on his chase bow but returned to timber with a vaguely encouraging run at Cheltenham and is worth monitoring for signs of market confidence. Volador found only General Miller too strong in a bumper on debut and has run to a consistent level of form, including in his two starts over hurdles. He shapes as though he'll improve for this stiffer test of stamina and connections can't quibble with his initial mark. Le Commencement has shaped with promise but this is a big ask for his inexperienced jockey whilst the well handicapped pair of My Turn Now and Laustra Bad have yet to suggest that they're on the verge of a return to form. The market may be the best guide to the chances of our pick but there's no doubt that Badger Foot has the potential to play a leading role.
Forzy Origny (FR) 33-1 (11-2) Mid-division, lost place 3rd, headway 3 out, chased leaders next, soon weakened, 6th of 19, 23l behind Lake Legend (11-12) at Kempton 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs in Dec.
Darstardly Dick (IRE) 14-1 (11-3) Well in rear, pushed along 5th, hampered 2 out, some late headway, never dangerous, 9th of 17, 20l behind Wolf Moon (10-10) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) sft in Nov.
Attorney General (IRE) 33-1 (10-7) Mid-division, mistake 5th, ridden 3 out, soon no impression, 7th of 19, 35l behind Lake Legend (11-12) at Kempton 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs in Dec.
Le Commencement (IRE) 9-2 (11-5) Raced wide, led, strongly pressed 2 out, headed narrowly soon after, stayed chasing leaders until ridden, edged left and no extra flat, 4th of 9, 6l behind Quartano (10-12) at Plumpton 2m 5f nov hdl (4) hvy in Nov.
Volador (IRE) 9-2 (11-0) Held up towards rear, steady headway approaching 3 out, 3rd 2 out, kept on into 2nd after last, never any chance with easy winner, 2nd of 13, 9l behind Be There In Five (11-0) at Chepstow 2m 4f mdn hdl (4) hvy in Dec.
Global Flyer 9-2 (11-4) Led, jumped slightly left 2 out, narrowly headed going to last, gamely regained lead close home, won at Huntingdon 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) sft in Dec beating Prince Du Beury (11-4) by shd, 7 ran.
My Turn Now (IRE) 20-1 (11-4) Always in rear, tailed off 6th, 9th of 12, well behind Dontpaytheferryman (9-13) at Fontwell 2m 2f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) hvy in Nov.
Laustra Bad (FR) 16-1 (11-6) Towards rear, reminders after 5th, badly hampered 7th, tailed off when pulled up approaching 4 out, in a race won by Pavillon Bleu (10-8) at Exeter 2m 1f hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft in Nov, 12 ran.
Dance Island (IRE) 9-2 (10-12) Held up in rear, headway 6th, weakened after 3 out, tailed off, 6th of 9, well behind My Friend Sandy (11-3) at Chepstow 3m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) hvy in Nov.
Fredo (IRE) 16-1 (11-4) Mid-division, headway from 2 out, stayed on well flat, nearest finish, 3rd of 24, 6l behind Lord Ragnar (11-1) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-110 (3) gs in Nov.
Bally Conn (IRE) 5-1fav (10-10) Held up, not fluent 6th, never dangerous, 6th of 15, 34l behind Magnifico (9-12) at Chepstow 3m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft in Feb.
Badger Foot (IRE) 50-1 (10-7) Held up in rear, headway approaching 4 out, went 2nd last, no chance with winner, 2nd of 11, 17l behind Silver Kate (10-12) at Chepstow 2m 4f nov hdl (4) hvy in Dec.
Knight In The City (IRE) 16-1 (11-4) Held up, ridden to chase leaders approaching 2 out, no impression, 5th of 12, 17l behind Tarateeno (10-10) at Towcester 3m hcp hdl 0-115 (4) hvy in Nov.
Hohlethelonely 25-1 (11-4) Held up, ridden 3 out, weakened next, 7th of 13, 38l behind Shadow Dancer (11-11) at Leicester 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-120 (3) gd in Dec.
Corker 12-1 (10-11) Held up, headway 4 out, soon chasing leaders, hard ridden 2nd last, left in 2nd at last, no chance with winner, 2nd of 10, 12l behind King Ar Aghaidh (11-9) at Kempton 3m hcp hdl 0-120 (3) gs in Nov.
Cannon Fire (FR) 16-1 (9-7) Held up, pushed along after 6th, weakened approaching 8th, 8th of 9, well behind Minella Boys (10-10) at Bangor 3m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) sft in Dec.