Aazif has won a maiden and a novice hurdle at Sedgefield but was beaten off an 11lb lower mark in his last appearance in a handicap and may find it tough to complete the hat-trick. Jolly Roger has had a few runs on the Flat this year but is still paying the price for last season's exploits over timber while Akula was well beaten at Wetherby after finishing third at Newton Abbot and has something to find with Ruler of All on the form book. FIRST IN THE QUEUE struggled in the main last season but this represents a drop in grade and he is reunited with McCoy for the first time since scoring off a pound lower mark at Bangor last August. He gets the vote with Maoi Chinn Tire preferred to Bow Badger of the others.
Jolly Roger (IRE) 9-4 (11-9) Tracked leaders, went 2nd before 3 out, ridden and weakened before next, 4th of 5, 12l behind Romeo Americo (10-4) at Newton Abbot 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-140 (3) sft in Jun '12.
Ruler of All (IRE) 4-1 (11-5) Held up in rear, headway to chase leaders over 10f out, led where 3rd last would of been over 3f out, headed over 1f out, soon rallied, hung left under pressure closing stages, kept on, 2nd of 8, 3 1/2l behind Waterunder (11-12) at Ffos Las 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd in May.
Bow Badger 7-1 (11-3) Tracked leader, led after 3rd, clear last, stayed on well, won at Perth 2m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gd in May beating Jonny Delta (11-4) by 10l, 7 ran.
Indian Groom (IRE) 10-1 (11-10) Mid-division, not fluent 2nd, mistake next, blundered 8th, some headway before 9th, weakened next, 7th of 11, 27l behind Fine Parchment (11-0) at Cartmel 2m 5f hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft in May.
First In The Queue (IRE) 25-1 (10-9) Raced wide in mid-division, pushed along approaching 3 out, ridden and struggling in 8th after 3 out, no progress, 8th of 18, 25l behind Stopped Out (10-13) at Sandown 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-145 (2) gd in Apr.
Akula (IRE) 20-1 (11-2) With leader, weakened before 2 out, 5th of 8, 26l behind Knight In Purple (10-10) at Wetherby 2m hcp hdl 0-140 (3) gd in May.
Taruma (FR) 16-1 (11-2) Tracked leader, hit 4th, mistake 4 out, weakened before next, last of 8, well behind Robbie (10-4) at Doncaster 2m Handicap Hurdle (0-140) (3yo+) (3) gs in Dec.
Aazif (IRE) 1-5fav (11-1) Junped left, made all and soon clear, mistake 5th, went left and hit 2 out, kept on well, eased close home, unchallenged, won at Sedgefield 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) gd in May beating Croco Bay (11-0) by 1 1/4l, 7 ran.
Majaales (USA) (11-0) 98th of 14, 29l behind Tempoline (10-7) at Auteuil(FR) 2m 2f clm hdl sft in May.
Maoi Chinn Tire (IRE) 12-1 (11-12) Held up in rear, not fluent 4th, headway after 6th, went left and closed last, led flat, edged left, driven out, won at Uttoxeter 2m hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gf in May beating Acapulco Bay (10-5) by 1l, 10 ran.