HUMBLE OPINION may hold the answer to this competitive handicap where Akram and Yetholm are just two of many to consider. Alan King's charge moves into the handicap ranks for the first time after three runs at Taunton and he appeared to be gradually getting the hang of hurdling. The handicapper hasn't taken too many chances but it will be disappointing if there isn't more to come from this useful Flat performer and the quicker ground should suit. Yetholm represents the yard responsible for last year's winner and is open to improvement as he strengthens up as he appeared to struggle to see out his races last term. Akram hasn't always appeared to be the most straightforward and may fare better once the cheekpieces are put back on and of more interest may be Simply Blue who is fairly handicapped on the pick of his form. Norisan is a good deal higher than when landing a few bets over course and distance a year ago and may be best watched unless attracting support which also applies to Kyoto who probably has more to offer. Preference, then, is for Humble Opinion.
Yetholm (USA) 8-1 (11-2) Led, headed 2nd, hampered after 4th, ridden when fell 3 out, in a race won by Bazart (10-2) at Chepstow 2m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gd in Apr, 9 ran.
Simply Blue 11-2 (10-10) Held up towards rear, headway approaching 2f out, soon weakened, tailed off, 7th of 9, well behind First Point (11-3) at Cheltenham 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-140 (2) gs in Apr.
Miss Phoebe (IRE) 12-1 (11-4) Tracked leaders, lost place 6th, weakened after next, last of 7, 35l behind Thehonourablelady (9-7) at Worcester 2m 4f mrs hcp hdl 0-120 (3) gs.
Humble Opinion 14-1 (11-2) Mid-division, ridden after 3 out, stayed on one pace from 2 out, 5th of 14, 12l behind Quartz De Thaix (11-5) at Taunton 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Jan.
Akram (IRE) 5-1 (11-12) Held up towards rear, headway after 5th, chased winner approaching last, stayed on, no impression, 2nd of 14, 2 1/2l behind Priest Field (10-11) at Worcester 2m hcp hdl 0-110 (4) gf in Jul.
Hoof It Harry (IRE) 5-2fav (11-12) Held up, going well when pulled up quickly before 3 out, in a race won by Kristoffersen (11-5) at Fontwell 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-110 (4) gd in May '08, 13 ran.
Latin Scholar (IRE) 11-4fav (10-11) Held up, jumped right and not fluent 1st, headway approaching 3 out, 2nd briefly before 2 out, no extra flat, 3rd of 9, 7l behind Danny Zuko (11-0) at Bangor 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gf in Apr.
Kyoto (GER) 14-1 (11-6) Held up mid-division, led approaching 2 out, headed last, kept on not quicken, 2nd of 13, 1 1/2l behind Doctor Robert (11-7) at Wincanton 2m nov hcp hdl 0-100 (4) gf.
Dreams Jewel 7-2 (10-2) Chased leaders, went 2nd after 3 out, weakened before next, no chance with winner, 2nd of 7, 10l behind Corum (12-0) at Newton Abbot 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) sft in Aug.
Norisan 11-1 (10-4) Towards rear, headway from 3 out, ridden to chase leader 2 out, led soon after last, quickened clear flat, comfortably, won at Wincanton 2m nov hcp hdl 0-100 (4) gs in Oct '08 beating Roznic (11-9) by 4 1/2l, 17 ran.