A large field goes to post for the first on the card but there is plenty of dead wood and the principals look to be Connak, Evelith Echo and Crescent Island and the confident vote is given to Connak. The selection won well last time out when beating Buck The Legend with plenty in hand, form that looks solid and despite his penalty he will be hard to beat. Evelith Echo rates the main danger he finished ninth in a Grade 2 hurdle behind Aigle D'or last time. This represents a drop in class and with his yard continuing in good form he will not be far away. Crescent Island was second behind Elusive Dream last time but is more exposed than the aformentioned horses and is taken on with this in mind. Warrior Drive won well last time out when beating Eyes to The Right but will need to improve again to win this much more competitive affair. Of the others, King Cain hails from the all conquering Paul Nicholls yard but his overall profile leaves him with a little to find and with this in mind for the winner we return to Connak despite the fact he is dropping in trip.
Bertie May 8-1 (11-4) Tracked leaders, not fluent 7th or 8th, weakened approaching 3 out, 7th of 8, 24l behind Superior Wisdom (11-4) at Warwick 2m 5f nov hdl (2) gs in Feb.
Crescent Island (IRE) 20-1 (11-4) Chased leaders, switched left approaching last, hung left, took 2nd flat, no chance with winner, 2nd of 8, 10l behind Elusive Dream (11-8) at Cheltenham 2m 5f nov hdl (2) gd.
Evelith Echo 16-1 (11-9) Mid-division, struggling 3 out, weakened next, 9th of 11, well behind Aigle D'or (11-9) at Cheltenham 2m 4f nov hdl Grd 2 (1) gs in Jan.
King Caine (IRE) 6-1 (11-8) Held up, headway after 7th, ridden 4 out, soon beaten, 8th of 13, 39l behind Black Ven (11-4) at Chepstow 2m 4f nov hdl (4) gs in Feb.
Warrior Drive (IRE) 2-5fav (11-2) Led, mistake 2nd, not fluent 4th, headed 5th, led again 11th, clear 3 out, easily, won at Hereford 2m 3f beg chs (4) frm in Nov beating Eyes To The Right (10-9) by 24l, 4 ran.
Java Victory (IRE) 25-1 (11-2) Chased leaders, ridden over 4f out, soon weakened, 8th of 12, 32l behind The Big Orse (10-13) at Newbury 2m nhf (5) sft in Dec.
Just Gold (IRE) 12-1 (12-0) Led 2-15; wknd 2 out, 5th of 11, 24l behind It Plays Itself (12-0) at Garthorpe 3m ptp gd in Apr '07.
Just Talking (IRE) 25-1 (11-4) Chased leader, ridden and no extra before 2 out, weakened and lost 2nd run-in, 4th of 15, 14l behind Jack Finch (11-4) at Downpatrick 2m 2f mdn hdl gd in Dec.
Morgan The Mighty (IRE) 8-1 (10-9) In rear of main group, mistake 1st, reminder 6th, behind from 12th, 7th of 9, well behind Nacadour (11-2) at Leicester 2m 7f mdn chs (4) gf in Dec.
Mr Nick (IRE) 66-1 (10-12) Always mid-division, 9th of 18, 30l behind Pettifour (11-4) at Newbury 2m 5f nh nov hdl (4) gs in Feb.
Perran Bay 100-1 (11-1) Held up, reminders after 4th, tailed off when pulled up 3 out in race won by Synchronised (10-8) at Towcester 2m 3f mdn hdl (4) sft in Mar, 14 ran.
The Silent King (IRE) 100-1 (11-1) Always behind, tailed off, 11th of 14, well behind Georgian King (11-1) at Exeter 2m 6f nh nov hdl (4) gd.
The Spieler (IRE) 12-1 (11-6) In touch, ridden, effort 13th, weakened approaching 4 out, 4th of 14, 30l behind Lough Derg (11-6) at Exeter 2m 7f beg chs (D) gs in Dec '05.
Wide Receiver (IRE) 66-1 (11-0) Held up, mistakes 1st and 2nd, ridden 7th, headway approaching 3 out, soon weakened, 5th of 15, 45l behind Bluegun (10-7) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f mdn hdl (4) sft.
Connak (IRE) 2-1jt-fav (11-3) Held up, headway 5th, led 3 out, quickly drew clear, won at Chepstow 3m nh mdn hdl (4) sft in Mar beating Buck The Legend (11-0) by 18l, 16 ran.
My Friend Sandy 33-1 (11-3) Held up in rear, hit 1st, headway 7th, struggling after next, 10th of 18, 37l behind Ambrosinni (11-0) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f nh nov hdl (3) gs in Feb.