Donald McCain enjoys a good record at this track and Degooch, not out of the front two on all NH starts, should give a good account now his attentions are turned to steeplechasing. He looks the sort to do well over fences but MASSANNIE is a useful hurdler rated higher than the McCain charge over timber, receives a valuable 7lb sex allowance and arrives on the back of a good second to Aalim at Worcester 20 days ago. David Pipe does have a below average strike rate for the yard at this track admittedly but she makes plenty of appeal on this chasing debut. Fantasy King, entered at Cartmel on Monday afternoon, would present a threat to both if turning up whilst Spirit River and Femme D'Espere have much to find on latest efforts.
Degooch (IRE) 1-5fav (11-5) Made all and set steady gallop, not fluent 4 out, shaken up before 2 out, edged left and in command from last, ridden out, won at Worcester 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) gf beating Aglaophonos (10-9) by 2 1/4l, 3 ran.
Fantasy King 15-2 (11-0) Held up, mistake 8th, in touch but waited with from 9th, ridden on home turn, stayed on, no impression, 4th of 5, 4 1/2l behind Big Casino (11-0) at Cartmel 2m 5f beg chase (4) gd in May.
Spirit River (FR) 33-1 (10-1) Tracked leaders, disputing 2nd 2 out, no extra before last, 7th of 10, 29l behind Any Given Day (11-12) at Cartmel 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gd in May.
Femme D'espere 125-1 (10-0) Behind 4th (normal 7th), 13th of 18, well behind Mr Maynard (11-12) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-100 (5) gd in Jun.
Massannie (IRE) 17-2 (11-12) Led into start, tracked leaders, not fluent 2nd, left in lead 2 out, headed last, stayed on same pace flat, 2nd of 7, 3 1/2l behind Aalim (11-6) at Worcester 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gf.