Naiad Du Misselot is a speculative selection to see off Old Benny and Crocodile Dundee. The selection came to these shores with a fine reputation from France but all didn't go as planned last season. It could be that this step up to three miles will see the best of him and with Graham Lee selecting him over stablemate, Surricate, that's good enough for us. Old Benny has run well last season over staying distances. He has been beaten on good ground in the past and has to give away weight all around. Crocodile Dundee attempts to reinvent himself as a staying hurdler. Rated in three figures on the flat, he looked a little quirky last season but as an ex-flat horse, he will like this tight course. Tora Bora's recent form has been little to write home about. A perusal at his past form suggests him to be more than capable of giving a good account first time out and Tony McCoy is aboard. Dunbrody Millar won the Topham over the larger obstacles last year and cannot be written off over hurdles as he invariably runs his better races at this course. An interesting race from a betting perspective and Naiad Du Misselot has the potential to be well treated on handicap introduction.
Old Benny 13-8 (11-9) Tracked leader, ridden to lead 3 out, disputed lead 2 out, led last and all out, just held on, won at Warwick 3m 1f nov hdl (4) hvy in Mar beating Best Actor (11-9) by a hd, 8 ran.
Crocodile Dundee (IRE) 25-1 (11-5) Held up, pushed along approaching 5th, struggling from next, soon weakened, 6th of 8, 31l behind Blythe Knight (11-0) at Aintree 2m nov hdl Grd 2 (1) gd in Apr.
Tora Bora (GER) 14-1 (11-2) In touch, ridden 4 out, soon weakened, 10th of 17, 28l behind Eden Linty (10-6) at Chepstow 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gd.
That's Rhythm (FR) 4-6fav (11-6) Tracked leader, led after 5th, ridden 2 out, kept on under pressure flat, won at Sedgefield 2m 5f nh nov hdl (4) gf in Apr beating North Island (10-13) by 1 1/2l, 9 ran.
Surricate (FR) 11-2 (11-5) Chased leaders, pushed along 3 out, ridden and one pace 2 out, no chance with winner, 2nd of 13, 16l behind Laouen (11-5) at Hexham 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft in Apr.
Naiad du Misselot (FR) 10-11fav (11-11) In touch, challenged 3 out, stayed on under pressure, 2nd of 17, 2 1/2l behind Cedrus Libani (11-11) at Newcastle 2m nov hdl (4) sft in Jan.
Dunbrody Millar (IRE) 25-1 (10-0) Led to 2nd, remained close up, pushed along 4 out, ridden to lead approaching 2 out, stayed on strongly, won at Aintree 2m 5f hcp chs (2) gd in Apr beating Theatre Knight (10-0) by 6l, 29 ran.
Potts of Magic 25-1 (11-0) Towards rear, not fluent 5th, ridden approaching 9th, hampered 3 out, stayed on from 2 out, not trouble leaders, 6th of 13, 12l behind Herne Bay (11-8) at Stratford 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gf in Sept.
Fine By Me (IRE) 8-1 (11-0) Held up, ridden 4 out, never on terms, 4th of 13, 42l behind Mumbles Head (11-5) at Perth 3m nov hcp hdl 0-115 (3) sft in Apr.