This is a race that looks as tough to call as the big one at Aintree and what can only be a tentative vote goes to Jacarado, who is preferred to Southerndown and Paddy The Optimist. The last mentioned has slipped to an attractive mark and would have solid claims if able to bounce back to form but there is no guarantee of that. Sweet Minuet had little chance behind Reveillez at Folkestone two starts ago but lost little in defeat in more suitable company last time and has claims on that evidence. General O'Keeffe has been pulled up in his last three starts and is probably best watched, while Zimbabwe has yet to win a race and is hard to back with confidence to do so here. Sissinghurst Storm has a nice racing weight and is another to consider along with the consistent Southerndown. Jacarado has not done much wrong of late though and he gets the vote to resume winning ways.
Five Alley (IRE) 33-1 (10-9) Mid-division, weakened approaching 4 out, 4th of 13, 29l behind Calusa Charlie (11-2) at Newbury 3m nov hdl (4) gd in Mar.
Sweet Minuet 16-1 (11-4) Held up in touch, ridden 7th, chased winner 3 out, kept on but no chance with winner, 2nd of 9, 3 1/2l behind Better Moment (11-4) at Chepstow 2m cnd hcp chs (5) gs in Mar.
Southerndown (IRE) 9-1 (10-10) In touch, ridden and outpaced 5 out, stayed on flat, 3rd of 8, 12l behind River of Light (10-11) at Chepstow 3m 2f hcp chs 0-100 (4) hvy in Mar.
Zimbabwe (FR) 11-1 (11-3) Chased leaders until after 13th, 4th of 15, 38l behind Valley Warrior (9-8) at Hereford 3m 1f hcp chs 0-90 (5) gd in Mar.
Jacarado (IRE) 7-1 (10-11) Mid-division, headway after 4th, jumped right 9th and 2 out, ridden to lead briefly, no extra towards finish, 2nd of 11, 6l behind Parkinson (10-5) at Leicester 2m 7f hcp chs 0-88 (5) hvy in Mar.
Paddy The Optimist (IRE) 6-1 (10-8) Mid-division, headway 9th, ridden to lead and hit 2 out, soon headed and weakened, 3rd of 15, 12l behind Valley Warrior (9-8) at Hereford 3m 1f hcp chs 0-90 (5) gd in Mar.
Sissinghurst Storm (IRE) 11-2fav (10-11) Mid-division, 7 lengths down when blundered and unseated rider at the 14th in race won by Valley Warrior (9-8) at Hereford 3m 1f hcp chs 0-90 (5) gd in Mar, 15 ran.
General O'Keeffe 9-4fav (12-0) 3rd of 12, 9l behind Zesta Fiesta (12-0) at Buckfastleigh 3m ptp gd in Mar.