IN SUMMARY: Wakanda was runner up in this race last year and that form is rock solid, so off five pounds lower this renewal he holds leading claims under Danny Cook. Preference though is for GET ON THE YAGER, a lightly raced seven year old who scored emphatically at Fontwell two weeks ago. He clearly loved the stamina test that day on only his third chasing run and he remains with scope for far better at the staying distances. He has his ground and shouldn’t be for catching.
1 SHANTOU FLYER – Has struggled on his last three runs but those were in tougher races than this, last seen in the Betfair Chase. He will appreciate this drop in class, but he’ll need a career best to defy top weight against a field of improvers. Looks vulnerable.
2 WAKANDA – Runner up in this race twelve months ago off a five pound higher mark, running well on seasonal debut before a tough task at Newcastle latest. The form of last year’s race has worked out brilliantly and he’s well treated on his best form. Looks sure to play a leading role.
3 BAYWING – Won a Grade 2 over course and distance back in February, he’s gone backwards in three runs since though. He fell at the first on his latest start at Haydock and although he’s got a strong chance if back to his Grade 2 form, he’s a risky play. Conditions are ideal and Ryan Day claims three pounds, but others are preferred on balance.
4 DELUSIONGRANDEUR – Ran a career best on his latest start when scoring in very easy fashion at Catterick, always travelling the best. He’s now eight pounds higher in a tougher race, but is open to further improvement and should go well from the front once again. Leading player on his ideal ground.
5 ACTINPIECES – Course and distance winner who was pulled up in this race twelve months ago, arriving this year off eight pounds higher. She was disappointing on her latest start over hurdles and although she will be much happier over fences, she looks up against it in this company.
6 DEDIGOUT – Eleven year old who clearly isn’t the force of old, well beaten on his return at Newcastle earlier this month. There have been no signs of revival in 2017 and he makes no appeal in a hugely competitive contest.
7 ALOOMOMO – Placed in two Novice Hurdles this season for Warren Greatrex, returning to chasing off a favourable mark based on he best of his form. He remains with potential and today’s ground has gone into his favour, so he’s an each way contender and merits consideration.
8 GET ON THE YAGER – Lightly raced seven year old who has only run three times over fences, winning by seven lengths at Fontwell two weeks ago. He’s now five pounds higher but has scope to do better in this sphere. He clearly likes a stamina test and should be capable of better yet at the staying distances, so he can take victory.