The well-bred Irish Buccaneer won a Chepstow bumper in April and looks a decent prospect over hurdles. He shouldn't be far away while Presenting Arms has shown promise in a couple of starts at Wincanton and had Pinkneys Prince behind last time. Best Director has been placed in a couple of bumpers and The Boogeyman is a winning pointer, though may find further to show his best. DIAMOND LIFE was second to the useful Grove Pride at Ascot in January and filled the same position behind Netherby at Lingfield a month later. Providing he's fully wound-up, a first win here is a distinct possibility.
Best Director (IRE) 5-1 (10-12) Held up in mid-division, headway 3f out, ridden over 1f out, edged left and went 3rd inside final furlong, stayed on, 3rd of 14, 7l behind Vinnie My Boy (10-12) at Aintree 2m 1f NH flat (6) gs in May.
Billy Dutton 33-1 (10-12) Mid-division, pushed along before 8th, soon lost place, plugged on again and hit 2 out, never a threat, 7th of 13, 31l behind Cloudy Copper (10-12) at Exeter 2m 5f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Nov.
Diamond Life 5-4fav (11-2) In touch, chased leaders after 3 out, went 2nd before next, no chance with very easy winner, 2nd of 17, 16l behind Netherby (10-11) at Lingfield 2m NH mdn hdl (5) gs in Feb.
Dungeness 16-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders, ridden and weakened 3 out, 5th of 8, 31l behind Bathcounty (11-0) at Stratford 2m mdn hdl (5) gs in Oct.
Hard House 66-1 (11-2) In touch, led after 5f, headed over 6f out, lost place over 3f out, soon weakened, 9th of 12, 31l behind Omani Rebel (11-0) at Uttoxeter 2m NH flat (6) gd in Jul.
Irish Buccaneer (IRE) 7-2fav (11-4) Held up in touch and keen, led over 1f out, held on well, won at Chepstow 2m NH flat (6) gs in Apr beating Tiqris (10-9) by 1 3/4l, 15 ran.
Long John 80-1 (11-2) Led, headed before 4f out, weakened before 2f out, 6th of 13, 28l behind Kilmurvy (11-2) at Taunton 2m 1f mdn NH flat (5) gd in Nov.
On The Case Generous gelding out of Tulipa.
Pinkneys Prince 50-1 (10-9) Mid-division, headway after 6th, ridden before 2 out, weakened last, 6th of 14, 27l behind Kings Lad (10-12) at Wincanton 2m NH nov hdl 4-6yo (3) gs in Nov.
Presenting Arms (IRE) 25-1 (10-12) Held up in rear, headway into 6th 2 out, went 4th last, never nearer, 4th of 14, 10l behind Kings Lad (10-12) at Wincanton 2m NH nov hdl 4-6yo (3) gs in Nov.
The Boogeyman (IRE) 16-1 (11-0) Held up behind in touch, chased leaders under pressure over 3f out, no impression final 2f, 5th of 8, 24l behind Fiddlers Bid (11-0) at Ascot 2m NH flat (6) hvy in Nov.
Oscar Jane (IRE) 66-1 (10-5) Mid-division, ridden before 2 out, kept on one pace and no impression, 4th of 11, 33l behind The Romford Pele (10-12) at Taunton 2m 1f nh nov hdl (3) gd in Nov.
Sterling Bill (IRE) 150-1 (10-5) Took keen hold, soon held up in last pair, pushed along before 6th, weakened next, tailed off, last of 9, well behind Swampfire (11-5) at Taunton 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) gd in Oct.