MASTER OF THE GAME looks an obvious starting point here as he takes a big drop in class after finishing fifth behind four previous winners at Cheltenham last month. That was only the former pointer's second start over hurdles and he's open to plenty of improvement. Heliopsis was second over a longer trip here last time and looks to be on an upward curve but Crystal Swing was well beaten at Worcester last week and appears to heading in the opposite direction. Barrison, Starsky Des Mottes and Saints And Sinners can all be placed to good effect over the coming months and are others worth noting along with I'm A Gangster.
Barrison 33-1 (10-12) Held up towards rear, chased leading trio after 4 out, stayed on to go moderate 3rd approaching last, no chance with front pair, 3rd of 10, 13l behind De Faoithesdream (11-5) at Worcester 2m nh nov hdl (4) gd.
Crystal Swing 12-1 (11-0) Held up behind, headway on inside after 4 out, kept on same pace, weakened 2 out, 7th of 10, 31l behind Reste Gosse (11-0) at Worcester 2m 4f NH mdn hdl (4) gd.
Heliopsis (IRE) 20-1 (10-12) Keen in rear, headway 8th, soon chased leaders, ridden 2 out, stayed to chase winner flat, 2nd of 11, 1 1/2l behind Amron Lad (11-5) at Bangor 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) gs.
I'm A Gangster (IRE) 5-1 (11-4) Towards rear, headway on outside over 10f out, soon led, strongly challenged over 2f out, headed entering final furlong, kept on, 2nd of 7, 1 1/4l behind Swift Escape (10-13) at Exeter 2m 1f NH flat (6) gf in Apr.
Master Of The Game (IRE) 10-3fav (11-0) Held up in touch towards rear, not fluent 4th, jumped slowly next, headway approaching 7th, ridden in 3rd after 2 out, 5th and weakening last, 5th of 7, 13l behind Captain Sunshine (11-4) at Cheltenham 2m 4f nh nov hdl (2) gs in Apr.
Mythical Warrior (IRE) 6-1 (11-7) Led, 7length adv when fell last, in a race won by Home Farm (11-7) at Horse And Jockey 3m ire ptp gd in Mar '11, 11 ran.
Starsky Des Mottes (FR) 22-1 (11-2) Led until 1st, led again approaching 4th, headed 6th, chased leader until weakened 3 out, blundered next, tailed off, 6th of 14, well behind Shangani (11-2) at Fontwell 2m 2f mdn hdl (5) sft in Mar.
Tresor De Bontee (FR) 100-1 (10-9) Mistake 2nd, always towards rear, 10th of 16, 43l behind Poole Master (10-9) at Uttoxeter 2m NH mdn hdl (5) gs in Nov.
Watson 16-1 (11-4) Led early, tracked leaders, led over 5f out, soon headed, weakened over 3f out, 10th of 15, 43l behind Green Flag (11-4) at Hexham 2m mdn NH flat (6) gd in Mar.
Catch The Fire 66-1 (10-7) Held up mid-division, reminders after 5th, pushed along before 3 out, never a factor, 7th of 16, 28l behind Woodbank (10-12) at Kempton 2m nh nov hdl (4) gd in Apr.
Saints And Sinners (IRE) 12-1 (10-2) Mid-division, hit 1st, ridden and weakened 3 out, 6th of 11, 40l behind Amron Lad (11-5) at Bangor 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) gs.
San Bellino 25-1 (10-7) Held up, hampered 4th, badly hampered and fell next (knocked over by rival), in a race won by Un Bon P'tit Gars (10-10) at Uttoxeter 2m mdn hdl (5) gs, 10 ran.
Saudi Pearl (IRE) 12-1 (10-12) Prominent, ridden over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, 6th of 10, 30l behind Letsby Avenue (10-12) at Haydock 2m NH flat (6) gd in Apr.
Sirius Chesnut 12-1 (10-10) Chased leaders, ridden before 3f out, soon weakened, 7th of 14, 31l behind Spirit Of Shankly (10-10) at Stratford 2m mdn NH flat (5) gd in Mar.
Commander Jet 66-1 (10-13) In touch, headway to chase leaders before 4 out, left modest 3rd and hampered 2 out, lost 4th last weakened to 5th close home, 5th of 15, 32l behind Top Wood (10-13) at Chepstow 2m nh nov hdl (4) gs in Apr.