Another tricky puzzle to solve in this Handicap and the missing piece to complete the selection picture looks to be recent winning hurdler HOT DIAMOND but only just in preference to Coin Of The Realm while Drill Sergeant shouldn't be ignored from a yard in form. The pick is rated at a useful 122 over timber and his last effort saw him place behind Joe Jo Star in the prestigious Swinton Hurdle last month. The winner has since gone on to land a decent contest on the level so with the form franked nicely and the pick on good form he should go well. Coin Of The Realm was runner up in fair Novice Hurdle at Aintree on his last start and having already won over this trip on the level should challenge off a fair at best mark. Drill Sergeant has to concede weight all round but is racing off the mark which saw him grab a place in a decent handicap at Doncaster last time. Before Mark Johnston's runner had put in a decent run in Listed company off a higher mark and with the yard going well he has decent claims. Martyr is on really good form having scored on both of his last two starts but as a result his rating is now looking prohibitive so, in what is a trappy affair, we like Hot Diamond.
Drill Sergeant 9-1 (9-4) Led, headed over 3f out and remained in touch, driven over 1f out, rallied inside final furlong, 3rd of 7, 2l behind Dansili Dancer (9-3) at Doncaster 1m 4f hcp 0-100 (2) gf in May.
Love Galore (IRE) 5-2 (9-0) Pulled very hard, led over 8f out, clear with one other, reduced lead over 4f out, ridden and headed inside final 3f, soon weakened and eased, last of 5, 30l behind Scintillo (9-0) at Kempton 1m 4f Listed stks (1) pol in Mar.
Red Kestrel (USA) 14-1 (9-4) Held up in touch, ridden over 3f out, no impression, 7th of 12, 9l behind Moonquake (9-4) at York 1m 2f hcp 0-100 (2) gf in May.
Resplendent Light 15-2 (8-12) Led, headed over 2f out, weakened over 1f out, last of 5, 17l behind Unnefer (9-2) at Lingfield 1m 2f stks (2) gf in May.
Group Captain 25-1 (9-2) In rear, ridden over 2f out, ran on final furlong, nearest finish, 5th of 18, 3l behind Hatton Flight (9-0) at Epsom Downs 1m 4f hcp 0-105 (3) gd in Apr.
Martyr 4-1 (9-2) Led, headed over 9f out, remained in touch, ridden 2f out, stayed on to lead well inside final furlong, won at Newmarket 1m 4f hcp 0-90 (3) gf in May beating John Terry (9-4) by 3/4l, 8 ran.
Pevensey (IRE) 25-1 (8-13) Chased leader to 4f out, weakened over 2f out, 13th of 14, 21l behind Hatton Flight (9-0) at Newmarket 1m 4f hcp 0-105 (2) gf in May.
Bureaucrat 25-1 (8-2) Slowly into stride, ridden 3f out, always in rear, 16th of 20, 16l behind All The Good (9-0) at Newbury 1m 5f hcap (2) gs in Aug.
Press The Button (GER) 7-1 (8-11) Chased leaders, not clear run well over 1f out, stayed on same pace inside final furlong, 5th of 12, 4l behind Cheshire Prince (8-4) at Chester 1m 2f hcp 0-100 (2) gf in May.
Storyland (USA) 5-1 (8-11) Switched right soon after start, held up in rear, hampered over 3f out, never on terms, weakened final furlong, 11th of 14, 12l behind Hatton Flight (9-0) at Newmarket 1m 4f hcp 0-105 (2) gf in May.
Bandama (IRE) 6-1 (9-3) Held up towards rear, ridden 3f out, never dangerous, 5th of 8, 12l behind Seeking The Buck (8-8) at Newmarket 1m 2f hcp 0-90 (3) gf in May.
Conquisto 7-2fav (9-4) Held up towards rear, ridden along and headway 2f out, stayed on final furlong, 5th of 8, 4l behind Aleatricis (8-10) at Pontefract 1m 4f hcp 0-85 (4) gd in May.
Coin of The Realm (IRE) 25-1 (8-8) Mid-division, headway over 2f out, switched right over 1f out, stayed on inside final furlong, 4th of 18, 2 3/4l behind Hatton Flight (9-0) at Epsom Downs 1m 4f hcp 0-105 (3) gd in Apr.
War Party 20-1 (9-2) Raced keenly in rear, ridden over 2f out, never troubled leaders, 6th of 8, 4 1/2l behind Martyr (9-2) at Newmarket 1m 4f hcp 0-90 (3) gf in May.
Aegean Prince 16-1 (9-2) Held up, headway over 1f out, soon hung left, weakened inside final furlong, 6th of 7, 4 1/2l behind Mezzanisi (9-4) at Wolverhampton 1m 4f hcp 0-85 (4) pol in May.
Hot Diamond 10-3 (8-4) Slowly into stride, in rear, headway when hung right over 2f out, soon ridden, weakened inside final furlong, 5th of 10, 9l behind Ajaan (9-2) at Newmarket 1m 6f hcp 0-105 (2) gs in May '08.
Kaleo 10-1 (8-8) Tracked leader, led over 3f out until over 2f out, ridden and weakened over 1f out, 6th of 8, 23l behind Seeking The Buck (8-8) at Newmarket 1m 2f hcp 0-90 (3) gf in May.