Fourth in the Grand National in April and third earlier in the Welsh National at Chepstow, Cappa Bleu is the pick of the weights in this but Evan Williams' yard is just struggling for winners at present. Paul Webber's stable is also in the doldrums so the enigmatic Sarando may be worth opposing as well while Beamazed returns from a lay-off. ACROSS THE BAY was third in a Grade 1 hurdle at Aintree in the spring and returned to fences with a comfortable victory at Kelso. He should go on to better things over the larger obstacles and gets the nod here with Soft Spoken Guy much better over hurdles.
Across The Bay (IRE) 4-1 (11-9) Made all, jumped left 10th, clear before last, stayed on well, won at Kelso 3m 2f hcp chs 0-140 (3) hvy in Oct beating Bescot Springs (10-7) by 7l, 9 ran.
Beamazed 16-1 (11-4) Tracked leaders, joined leader 9th, hit 13th, travelled on bit from 14th, led last, kept on strongly, driven out, won at Carlisle 3m 2f hcp chs 0-130 (3) hvy in Feb beating Vamizi (11-0) by 5l, 13 ran.
Cappa Bleu (IRE) 16-1 (10-10) Mid-division, hampered 7th (foinavon), 9th 3 out, one pace approaching next, stayed on to go 4th flat, never reached leaders, 4th of 40, 12l behind Neptune Collonges (11-6) at Aintree 4m 4f Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (7yo+) (1) gd in Apr.
Sarando 16-1 (10-13) Jumped moderately in rear, reminders after 6th, mistake 10th, tailed off when went right 12th and next, pulled up soon after 4 out, in a race won by Nacarat (11-8) at Kempton 3m hcp chs G3 (1) gd in Feb, 10 ran.
Soft Spoken Guy (IRE) 13-2 (10-1) Mid-division, mistake and reminder 3rd, headway on outside 4 out, soon chased leader, lost place after next, no impression from 2 out, 4th of 14, 26l behind Trucking Along (10-3) at Wetherby 2m 6f hcp hdl 0-140 (3) gs in Oct.