Many of these are old rivals but Forgotten Gold won the race last year, though is 10lb higher. Al Alfa is a newcomer to veterans’ races but hasn’t raced since successful over a shorter trip at Worcester last May. Vino Griego has an even longer absence to overcome but No Duffer should be thereabouts if on a going day, as he was at Newbury last month when ahead of Sandown specialist Loose Chips. Fox Appeal and Astracad are worth a market check but MASTERS HILL has gone close the last twice off today’s mark and the grey’s turn may have come around again. He makes more appeal than stable companion Theatrical Star.
Shuil Royale (IRE) 12-1 (11-12) Always towards rear, tailed off 4 out, pulled up soon after, at Sandown 3m hcp (2) sft in Jan.
No Duffer 16-1 (11-8) Chased leaders, 2nd before 4 out, led 3 out, went badly right 2 out, strongly pressed when went right again last, ridden and headed run-in, kept on same pace, 2nd of 12, 2 1/4l behind Just A Par (11-10) at Newbury 3m 2f hcp (2) sft in Mar.
Fox Appeal (IRE) 14-1 (11-0) Mid-division, headway 13th, ridden 4 out, 6th 3 out, soon weakened, 6th of 13, 21l behind Foxtail Hill (10-3) at Cheltenham 2m 5f hcp (1) sft in Jan.
Forgotten Gold (IRE) 50-1 (11-10) Prominent, outpaced before omitted 3 out, weakened before 2 out, 10th of 24, 17 3/4l behind Domesday Book (11-4) at Cheltenham 3m 2f hcp (2) gd in Mar.
Loose Chips 6-1 (11-3) Led until after 16th, chased leader until before 4 out, chased leaders, weakened next, 5th of 12, 36 1/4l behind Just A Par (11-10) at Newbury 3m 2f hcp (2) sft in Mar.
Masters Hill (IRE) 11-2 (12-1) Led until before 2nd, led 4th, jumped left 7th, mistake 16th (water), pressed 2 out, headed narrowly last, stayed on, held towards finish, 2nd of 7, 1 1/4l behind Shanroe Santos (11-4) at Sandown 3m hcp (3) gs in Mar.
Theatrical Star 10-1 (11-11) Chased leaders, pushed along before 4 out, soon ridden, plugged on same pace from next, 4th of 14, 7 1/2l behind Kingswell Theatre (11-9) at Exeter 3m 7f hcp (3) gs in Feb.
Bob Tucker (IRE) 12-1 (11-7) Held up in mid-division, headway 7th, not fluent 13th, some headway 3 out, weakened next, mistake last, 7th of 13, 13 1/2l behind Brandon Hill (11-9) at Newbury 2m 7f hcp (3) sft in Jan.
Court By Surprise (IRE) 4-1 (10-6) Tracked leaders in 4th, lost place 10th, soon in rear, plugged on from 3 out, never dangerous, 5th of 8, dist behind Killala Quay (10-9) at Doncaster 3m hcp (2) gd in Feb.
Al Alfa 7-2fav (11-3) Led, ridden before 9th, headed last, led again flat, stayed on gamely, won at Worcester 2m 4f hcp (3) gd in May beating Presenting Arms (11-12) by 3/4l, 9 ran.
Vino Griego (FR) 5-1 (11-3) Tracked leader, led 8th, made rest, driven before last, stayed on gamely run-in, won at Sandown 3m hcp (2) gs in Nov beating Pineau De Re (11-12) by 5l, 7 ran.
Astracad (FR) 8-1 (10-13) In rear, headway before 4 out, ridden before 3 out, weakened before 2 out, 4th of 8, 14 1/4l behind Killala Quay (10-9) at Doncaster 3m hcp (2) gd in Feb.