The veteran A New Story won the Cross Country Handicap at the Cheltenham Festival in March and is no slouch over hurdles. The going will play to his strengths and he should be in the shake-up. The Shepherd continues to run very well but he's now on his highest-ever mark and will need to have made further progress. WHINSTONE BOY was fancied to take this a year ago but fell when going comfortably. He beat Powerstation on his next start before scoring twice over fences and looks well handicapped on his chase form. Hotterthanjuly finished fourth last year but hasn't been seen since two poor runs in February. Footy Facts was a long way behind Whinstone Boy over fences at Gowran in January but is much better over timber and the heavier the ground the better for him. He has the beating of Shane Rock on their run behind Molly's Boy at Gowran last month and should be thereabouts.
Footy Facts (IRE) 12-1 (11-7) Led, strongly pressed from 3 out, kept on under pressure from next, headed at last, rallied and kept on well run-in, 3rd of 14, 1/2l behind Molly's Boy (9-12) at Gowran Park 3m hcp hdl in Oct.
Baily View (IRE) 10-1 (9-12) Chased leaders early, weakened to rear before halfway, pulled up before 5 out, in a race won by Killenaule Boy (9-11) at Down Royal 2m 4f hcp chs fm in Jun, 11 ran.
Whinstone Boy (IRE) 16-1 (10-13) Chased leaders, unseated rider 2nd, in a race won by Ringaroses (11-0) at Aintree 3m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) gd in Apr, 21 ran.
The Bishop Looney (IRE) 7-2 (11-0) Mid-division, driven along and losing touch from 5 out, 9th early straight, kept on one pace, 6th of 16, well behind Lucky At Last (11-0) at Cork 2m 4f ext hcp hdl hvy in Nov '09.
Hotterthanjuly (IRE) 20-1 (11-5) Never a factor, behind from 5 out, 16th of 25, well behind Florimund (11-0) at Navan 2m 4f hcp hdl 80-116 hvy in Feb.
Shane Rock 10-1 (11-5) Chased leaders, 6th halfway, weakened 3 out, 16th of 20, well behind Kaiser So Say (11-0) at Galway 2m 6f hcp hdl 8Evens23 gd in Oct.
The Bay Lad (IRE) 22-1 (10-10) Prominent, 2nd 3 out, soon ridden, no impression from 2 out, 6th of 12, 9l behind Dorset Square (9-10) at Clonmel 3m hcp hdl 0-140 hvy in Nov '09.
The Shepherd (IRE) 10-1 (10-12) Chased leaders, 3rd halfway, ridden into 2nd before 2 out, under pressure in 3rd before last, kept on run-in to 2nd close home, no impression winner, 2nd of 20, 2 1/2l behind Kaiser So Say (11-0) at Galway 2m 6f hcp hdl 8Evens23 gd in Oct.
A New Story (IRE) 20-1 (9-6) Prominent, on terms from before 4 out, headed after 2 out, no extra and kept on same pace from before last, 6th of 14, 9l behind Sweet Shock (10-6) at Naas 2m 4f hcp hdl sft in Oct.
Brownpolish 7-1 (9-5) Tracked leaders, short of room on inner approaching 4 out, slight mistake next, dropped to 11th and no extra from before straight, 13th of 14, 17l behind Sweet Shock (10-6) at Naas 2m 4f hcp hdl sft in Oct.