KICKAHEAD can win the race named in honour of the legend that is Mick McCarthy, with Carter and Cozy Tiger considered to be the most threatening of the opposition. Ian Williams' charge remains well treated off a mark of 57 if translating his improvement over hurdles back to the flat. It looked for a time that he would fail to do that having disappointed backers on more than one occasion this winter, but he finally got his act together to win by four lengths here last time. That was off a mark of 50 so he clearly has more to do here, but he's rated 122 over timber and should be more than competitive here. Carter rates a clear threat having taken second here last time, in the process hinting that this step up in trip may bring about enough improvement to negate the 2lb rise he's incurred. If that proves to be the case he'll serve it up to the likely favourite under Shane Kelly and can prove better than Cozy Tiger, a horse who might just need help from the handicapper if his last effort, a well beaten third, is anything to go by. Laconicos is tough and generally consistent but anyone backing him to win over the years will surely have very little money left whilst Brad's Luck is a 17-race maiden who has been well held over hurdles lately. Kickahead can score in this staying handicap.
Resplendent Ace (IRE) 33-1 (9-0) Always behind, 10th of 12, 8l behind Lytham (8-10) at Kempton 1m 3f hacp 0-70 (5) pol in Apr.
Cozy Tiger (USA) 6-4fav (9-6) Tracked leaders, ridden to chase winner well over 2f out, no extra and lost 2nd inside final furlong, 3rd of 5, 8l behind Veloso (9-6) at Southwell 1m 4f hcp 0-65 (6) fbs in Mar.
Carter 8-1 (9-3) Tracked leaders, chased winner 3f out until 2f out, rallied inside final furlong, went 2nd near finish, 2nd of 9, 1/2l behind Nayessence (8-11) at Wolverhampton 1m 4f hcp 0-60 (6) pol in Apr.
Dancing Sword 12-1 (8-11) Keen, held up, ridden 3f out, not trouble leaders, 7th of 10, 3 1/2l behind Colonel Sherman (8-2) at Kempton 1m 4f hacp 0-70 (5) pol in Apr.
Lapina (IRE) 8-1 (9-5) Held up, ridden over 3f out, headway 2f out, weakened 1f out, 5th of 8, 12l behind Pseudonym (9-7) at Warwick 1m 7f hcp 0-70 (5) gd in Jul.
Paint The Town Red 11-1 (8-4) In touch in rear, progress 4f out, ridden over 3f out, weakened over 2f out, 4th of 5, 19l behind Locum (8-9) at Yarmouth 1m 3f hcp 0-75 (5) gf in Apr.
Kickahead (USA) 6-1 (9-0) Held up towards rear, good headway to go 2nd over 1f out, led inside last, kept on well, won at Wolverhampton 1m 6f hcp 0-60 (6) pol in Jan beating Aaman (8-13) by 4l, 12 ran.
Barodine 4-1 (9-3) Close up, ridden over 3f, weakened 2f out, last of 12, 45l behind Golden Prospect (9-3) at Folkestone 1m 2f hcp 0-60 (6) hvy in Apr.
Laconicos (IRE) 16-1 (8-11) Held up towards rear, soon in touch, ridden well over 1f out, chased winner inside final furlong, kept on, always held, 2nd of 9, 3 1/2l behind Ghufa (8-13) at Wolverhampton 1m 4f app hcp 0-65 (6) pol in Apr.
Zalkani (IRE) 25-1 (8-7) Held up towards rear, pushed along on inside 3f out, no impression, 7th of 12, 15l behind Nayessence (8-9) at Wolverhampton 1m 4f hcp 0-60 (6) pol in Apr.
Brad's Luck (IRE) 17-2 (8-10) Chased leaders, kept on final furlong, 2nd of 12, 1 1/2l behind Bute Street (8-13) at Wolverhampton 2m hcp (0-65) (6) pol in Oct.
Spume (IRE) 12-1 (8-11) Close up, ridden over 3f out, weakened over 2f out, 8th of 13, 25l behind Elliwan (8-12) at Southwell 1m 4f app hcp (0-55) (6) fbs in Mar '09.
Dazzling Begum 10-1 (8-4) In rear, headway 3f out, ridden to chase leaders 2f out, one pace final furlong, 5th of 13, 6l behind Galiotto (9-0) at Brighton 1m 4f hcp 0-60 (6) gf in Apr.