French-breds have a terrific record in this contest, the first Grade 1 juvenile hurdle of the season, so Caid Du Berlais and Vasco D'Ycy, who both represent powerful yards, have to go on the short-list. The former had winning form on heavy going in France and was second in a Listed race at Auteuil in September when last seen. The latter arrives off the back of a win at Newbury in November and the second has franked the form since. His form looks stronger than that of Dalmo and the hat-trick-seeking Feb Thirtyfirst but Ruacana's Catterick victory is working out well. SWYNMOR also looked a useful prospect when scoring by 11 lengths on the bridle on debut at Newbury and showed he could handle heavy ground on the Flat. He gets the nod to follow up as Megalypos and newcomer Zandy Man will find easier opportunities than this in the future.
Caid Du Berlais (FR) (10-3) 2nd of 7, 6l behind Maghero (10-3) at Auteuil(FR) 2m 2f hdl hvy in Sep.
Dalmo 3-1fav (11-4) Led 1st, made rest, drew clear from 3 out, unchallenged, won at Ludlow 2m 3yo sll hdl (4) sft in Dec beating Isola Bella (10-0) by 17l, 7 ran.
Feb Thirtyfirst 4-1 (11-2) Chased leader, ridden when mistake 2 out, rallied and recovered to lead when pushed left before last, ridden clear run-in, tiring final 100 yards, held on, won at Sandown 2m 3yo hdl (4) sft in Nov beating Sir Fredlot (10-9) by 1l, 11 ran.
Megalypos (FR) (10-3) 3rd of 11, 8l behind Storm Of Saintly (10-3) at Auteuil(FR) 2m 1f 3yo chs hvy in Sep.
Ruacana 9-4fav (10-12) Chased leaders, joined leader 4 out, led after next, hard ridden last, stayed on well, won at Catterick 2m 3yo hdl (4) gs in Dec beating Totalize (10-12) by 2 1/4l, 14 ran.
Swnymor (IRE) 4-6fav (10-7) Took keen hold, tracked leading pair, led before went left 3 out, clear before next, very easily, won at Newbury 2m 3yo hdl (4) sft in Dec beating Amoralist (10-12) by 11l, 6 ran.
Vasco D'ycy (FR) 7-1 (10-12) Made virtually all, came stands side 3 out, stayed on well flat, won at Newbury 2m 3yo hdl (3) sft in Nov beating Pistol (10-12) by 2 1/2l, 8 ran.
Zamdy Man 4-1 (8-8) Behind, outpaced over 2f out, headway over 1f out, stayed on inside final furlong, never nearer, 4th of 8, 7l behind Specific Gravity (9-9) at Newmarket 1m 2f hcp 0-95 (3) gs in Aug (flat).