tracked leaders, effort to dispute 2nd when mistake 2 out, soon no impression on winner
jumped well, made virtually all, in command soon after 2 out, pushed out run-in
held up in touch, headway to dispute 2nd when mistake 2 out, weakened before last
tracked winner to after 2nd, effort and mistake 2 out, one pace and mistake last, kept on under pressure run-in
took keen hold, held up in 4th, tracked leading pair 4 out, ridden 3 out, weakened quickly before 2 out
chased winner after 2nd, not fluent 4th, weakened quickly before 2 out
in rear, mistake 4th, blundered and fell next
Daryal and Obay have both shown good form from limited opportunities but Iron Man sets a decent standard and will be tough to beat. The selection has only won once from four starts since coming over from France but Howard Johnson's gelding has arguably ran better in defeat, latterly when a close third behind Diego Cao over course and distance last month. A reproduction of that form should suffice for the son of Video Rock. Alan King's French import Daryal stepped up on his debut effort when winning at Taunton last time but this looks tougher and a bigger threat may come from Obay, who was useful on the flat and may be better than we have seen so far over hurdles. Tony Carroll's Mokum has yet to trouble the judge since joining his current but raced over hurdles in France and has the benefit of experience over his rivals. Stablemate Sovereign Girl is difficult to recommend and of more interest may be hurdling newcomer Maclean. Gary Moore does well with his runners here and the son of Machiavellian was useful on the flat but Iron Man holds solid claims and is hard to oppose.
Daryal (IRE) 9-1 Held up in mid-division, headway 3 out, challenged approaching last, ran on well flat to lead final 100 yards, won at Taunton 2m 1f nov hdl (E) gs in Jan beating Jorobaden by 1 1/2l, 14 ran.
Iron Man (FR) 9-2 Led, driven when mistake and headed 2 out, not recover, 3rd of 13, 6l behind Diego Cao at Sandown 2m 4yo nov hdl (C) gs in Jan.
Maclean 3-1fav Soon led, ridden along 3f out, headed 2f out, weakening when hampered on rail 1f out, last of 11, 12l behind Wiggy Smith at Epsom 1m 2f hcp 0-90 (C) gd in Aug (Flat).
Nycteos (FR) 3rd of 8, 7l behind Nuoc Man at Les Sables-D'olo 1m 5f nhf gs in Aug.
Obay 11-8fav Prominent, led after 3rd, hit 4th, ridden and headed after 3 out, one pace, 3rd of 10, well behind Waltzing Beau at Fontwell 2m 2f 4yo nov hdl (E) sft in Jan.
Sovereign Girl 66-1 Always behind, tailed off, 5th of 10, 49l behind Vicario at Towcester 2m 4yo nov hdl (E) gs in Jan.