My Final Bid, Powerlove, Countrywide Sun and Jodante will be the main contenders in the opener with the vote going to the last named. A winner last time out at Southwell when getting the better Stroom Bank by a convincing three and a half lengths Jodante should have no worries following up even though he carries a seven pound penalty. Connections obviously feel he will better treated now than after being reassessed so is a horse to keep on the right side of. My Final Bid lands himself in the frame more often than not but winners seem to elude him. From six runs under rules he has finished second five times and third once. The handicapper seems to have a thresh hold over him and it looks as though he has become used to not winning. Powerlove won at Ayr after coming back from a short break but was unable to capitalize on that last time out and was a disappointing fifth at Perth so he is to be treated with caution. A bigger danger to the selection is Countrywide Sun who is only four and has put up some bold performances in defeat lately and any market moves should be noted. But for the winner we return to Jodante.
My Final Bid (IRE) 3-1 (11-1) Tracked leaders and not fluent, ridden after 3 out, stayed on approaching last, 3rd of 16, 14l behind Auenmoon (11-4) at Kelso 2m mdn hdl (4) gs in Mar.
Chief Dan George (IRE) 11-1 (10-10) Ran loose before start, headway 3 out, challenged before last, just held, 2nd of 16, shd behind Noir Et Vert (10-7) at Perth 3m nov hcp hdl 0-110 (4) gd in Apr.
Powerlove (FR) 8-1 (11-5) Chased leaders, ridden approaching 2 out, soon one pace, 5th of 16, 22l behind Noir Et Vert (10-7) at Perth 3m nov hcp hdl 0-110 (4) gd in Apr.
Jodante (IRE) 11-10fav (11-2) Held up, smooth headway 6th, tracked leaders next, led on bit 2 out, stayed on well from last, won at Southwell 2m 5f nov hcp hdl 0-105 (4) gf beating Stroom Bank (11-2) by 3 1/2l, 11 ran.
Le Millenaire (FR) 33-1 (11-5) Led to 3rd, chased leaders until weakened 7th, tailed off when pulled up at the last in race won by Burren Moonshine (10-11) at Perth 3m amt hcp hdl 0-100 (4) gd in Apr, 18 ran.
Roschal (IRE) 3-1 (11-2) Led, headed before 3 out, weakened next, 4th of 6, 43l behind Blackergreen (11-1) at Carlisle 3m 1f nov hcp hdl 0-105 (4) hvy in Mar.
The Weaver (FR) 12-1 (10-13) Mid-division, headway 10th, chased leaders, soon ridden, kept on one pace, 3rd of 16, 9l behind Not Today Sir (11-9) at Musselburgh 3m hcp hdl 0-105 (4) gd in Jan.
Bromley Abbey 14-1 (9-11) Soon behind, struggling 6th, tailed off when pulled up 2 out in race won by Scotmail Too (10-3) at Perth 2m 4f nov hcp hdl 0-115 (3) gf in Apr, 13 ran.
Buffy 14-1 (10-11) In touch, effort between last 2, no extra flat, 5th of 12, 12l behind Parisienne Gale (11-1) at Hexham 2m mrs hcp hdl (4) gd in Apr.
Heversham (IRE) 16-1 (11-6) Mid-division, some headway after 5th, weakened from next, 8th of 15, 39l behind Leadaway (11-0) at Sedgefield 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-90 (5) gf.
Countrywide Sun 7-1 (10-4) Tracked winner, ridden and every chance approaching 3 out when blundered, one pace from last, 3rd of 6, 18l behind Patxaran (11-5) at Ayr 2m nov hcp hdl 0-105 (4) sft in Mar.
Alice's Old Rose 25-1 (10-2) In touch, led 3rd to 5th, chased leaders until weakened 4 out, behind when pulled up at the last in race won by Burren Moonshine (10-11) at Perth 3m amt hcp hdl 0-100 (4) gd in Apr, 18 ran.