Despite having to concede a lot of weight all round HILLS OF ARAN could prove too strong for the likes of Night Cru and Dave's Dream. The pick's last two runs have been good efforts against better opposition. He was far from disgraced when well beaten by World Hurdle favourite Kasbah Bliss at Haydock two starts ago and improved on that when a close third behind Coral Cup bound Lough Derg last time at Fontwell. It is true he'd ideally like further but in this field things look good. Night Cru also put in a decent display behind another festival bound runner at Sandown last time which was the best of his runs this season. He receives plenty of weight from the pick but may just need to improve again. Dave's Dream was well backed last time but really disappointed finishing well down the field. He also has some form to find through the lines on the conquerors of both Hills Of Aran and Night Cru. At his best though he's a danger. Hibiki has bits of form at this level to point to a challenge but the handicapper could be in charge so in a very good race Hills Of Aran should just have that extra class.
Hills Of Aran 6-1 (11-3) Tracked leader, ridden into narrow advantage approaching 2 out, headed last, kept on, no extra, 3rd of 7, 2 1/2l behind Lough Derg (11-11) at Fontwell 2m 4f hdl Grd 2 (1) gd in Feb.
Altilhar (USA) 12-1 (11-10) Mid-division, driven and weakened soon after 3 out, 12th of 17, 22l behind Jack The Giant (11-0) at Ascot 2m lst hcp hdl (1) gf in Dec '07.
Hibiki (IRE) 3-1fav (11-2) Mid-division, headway approaching 3 out, every chance 2 out, ridden and no extra flat, 4th of 14, 2 1/2l behind European Dream (11-0) at Musselburgh 2m hcp hdl 0-145 (2) gd.
Callisto Moon 11-4 (10-7) In touch, mistake 8th, tracked leader from 10th, ridden 3 out, weakened 2 out, 4th of 12, 18l behind The Jolly Spoofer (11-0) at Ludlow 2m 4f beg chs (4) gf in Oct.
Oscardeal (IRE) 40-1 (10-5) Chased leaders, led approaching 2 out, ridden, under pressure approaching last, just held on, won at Southwell 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-140 (2) gs beating Laustra Bad (10-6) by a ns, 14 ran.
Night Cru 14-1 (9-7) Held up, hit 5th, headway approaching 2 out, ridden and took 3rd flat, 3rd of 14, 1 1/2l behind Chief Yeoman (10-10) at Sandown 2m 6f hcp hdl Grd 3 (1) sft in Jan.
Hernando Royal 10-3fav (11-7) In touch, headway approaching 2 out, stayed on same pace before last, 4th of 19, 10l behind Cathedral Rock (11-10) at Sandown 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-120 (3) gs.
Dave's Dream (IRE) 11-2 (9-11) Took keen hold in mid-division, mistake and stumbled 4th, soon dropped to rear, struggling 3 out, 11th of 14, 43l behind Serabad (10-10) at Ascot 2m 3f hcp hdl (2) hvy.