A fascinating race with plenty of rules performers in play and LE DUC is taken to see off Murphy's Cardinal and Border Fusion. Paul Nicholls' charge won his last race under rules at Cheltenham and while he isn't without his quirks, the trainer will be keen to get him qualified for the big Foxhunters events at the earliest opportunity. Murphy's Cardinal was a very smart performer a few years ago. Sadly, injury has perhaps prevented us from seeing the best of him. Border Fusion handles soft ground perfectly well and has a fair record under rules. The useful Richard Burton is in the saddle this afternoon. A Boy Named Sioux has been a prolific winner of points though probably needs to step up in order to win this. Wickford was once highly thought of when trained by Colm Murphy in Ireland but things clearly didn't work out as planned. Herecomesstanley is noted as a particularly bold jumper. He acts on the surface and at the likely odds, makes a fair degree of appeal. Lady Myfanwy is a tough mare that has proved difficult to beat in Welsh points. Whether she can see off the more professionally trained sorts is a different question entirely. The market should tell us plenty and it is hard to get away from Le Duc.
Border Fusion 8-1 (11-5) Held up, headway when hampered 3 out, effort last, no chance with winner, 2nd of 7, 6l behind He's The Gaffer (11-0) at Stratford 2m 7f hcp chs 0-125 (3) gd in Jul.
Le Duc (FR) 9-2fav (10-13) Mid-division, headway to lead 16th to 4 out, led after 3 out, not fluent next, hit last and soon headed, rallied to lead final 100 yards, won at Cheltenham 3m 1f hcp chs 0-145 (2) gs in Apr beating Mokum (10-5) by a shd, 11 ran.
Wickford (IRE) 7-1 (12-0) Led til hdd last; rallied to ld flat, won at Barbury Castle 3m ptp gd in Jan beating Man From Highworth (12-0) by 6l, 20 ran.
Tinarana Lord (IRE) 13-2 (11-11) Held up in rear, not fluent 9th, ridden after 11th, headway when hit 14th, no chance but chased winner from 3 out to last, 3rd of 8, 36l behind Wild Is The Wind (12-0) at Bangor 3m hts chs (5) gs in Apr.
Lady Myfanwy 8-13fav (10-7) A.p; led 2 out; comf, won at Black Forest Ldg 3m ptp sft beating Winter Scene (10-7) by 2l, 6 ran.
Bowdens Lane Evensfav (12-5) Trckd ldrs; led 14; drew clr 19; unchall, won at Dunthrop 4m ptp sft in Jan beating Lord Attica (12-5) by a runin, 9 ran.
Murphy's Cardinal (IRE) 8-15fav (12-0) Held up; hdwy 13; led app 2 out; rdn out, won at Cold Harbour 3m ptp gd in May beating Strong Weld (12-4) by 2l, 5 ran.
Herecomestanley 20-1 (11-4) Held up, weakened after 8th and pulled up 3 out in race won by Lysander (10-0) at Aintree 3m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) sft in Oct, 18 ran.
A Boy Named Sioux (IRE) 8-1 (12-0) Held up in touch, headway 5 out, challenged next, led 3 out, soon clear, eased towards finish, won at Carlisle 3m hts chs (6) gs in Mar beating Harlov (11-11) by 2 1/2l, 7 ran.