Three against the field in this opener are LORD TOMNODDY, King Edmund and The Old Pretender and we will side with the first-named. David Pipe's gelding made a very pleasing debut at Taunton when just finding one too good. He showed he acts on good to soft that day, and that this trip is an ideal starting point for one who will undoubtedly stay further, and with plenty of improvement possible we will side with him. The Old Pretender has run with credit in two hurdles here and the form of those entitles him to go close again today. However, his least impressive effort in four career starts was when the ground was not bottomless, and with that also being the case today we will take him on. King Edmund showed up very well on his hurdling debut over course and distance when runner-up to the useful Missoula in December. He is likely to be more at home on this ground and could give the selection most to do. Costa Courta could improve for the step up in trip after showing reasonable form so far, while Dorothy's Friend has some ability but might struggle on the ground. Lord Tomnoddy is given the nod.
Costa Courta (FR) 33-1 (10-12) Towards rear, effort 5th, kept on one pace, 4th of 16, 4l behind Covert Mission (10-2) at Hereford 2m 1f nov hdl (4) sft in Dec.
Dorothy's Friend 25-1 (11-4) Held up in rear, stayed on approaching 2 out, never near leaders, 4th of 8, 27l behind Pause And Clause (11-4) at Kempton 2m 5f nov hdl (2) sft.
Dundry 20-1 (11-0) Mid-division, ridden and weakened 3 out, behind when pulled up at the last in race won by Silverburn (11-0) at Newbury 2m nov hdl (3) sft in Nov '06, 12 ran.
Giggles O'Shea (IRE) 66-1 (11-2) Always behind, ridden and struggling halfway, tailed off, 15th of 16, well behind Qroktou (11-2) at Newbury 2m nhf (5) gs in Dec.
King Edmund 14-1 (10-12) Led, clear 7th, ridden after last, hung left and headed towards finish, no extra, 2nd of 15, 1l behind Missoula (10-5) at Fontwell 2m 4f nov hdl (4) gs in Dec.
Lord Tomnoddy 100-1 (11-3) Held up, shaken up, headway approaching 2 out, ran on well to go 2nd from last, 2nd of 14, 6l behind Chariot Charger (11-9) at Taunton 2m 3f nh nov hdl (3) gs in Jan.
Maderson Blue (IRE) 15-2 (11-9) Mid-division, hampered on bend over 9f out, driven along 3f out, stayed on same pace final 2f, 4th of 11, 15l behind Zarrafakt (10-13) at Folkestone 2m 1f nhf (6) sft in Nov.
Majic Moments (IRE) 33-1 (11-6) Mid-division, steady headway 4 out, ridden 2 out, weakened soon after, 5th of 10, 38l behind Fruity O'Rooney (11-6) at Folkestone 2m 6f nov hdl (4) hvy in Jan.
Mr Bojangels (IRE) 80-1 (11-6) Mid-division when fell at the 4th in race won by Fruity O'Rooney (11-6) at Folkestone 2m 6f nov hdl (4) hvy in Jan, 10 ran.
Prince Zafonic 66-1 (11-0) Chased leaders, ridden after 3 out, weakened next, 6th of 12, 36l behind Katchit (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m 1f 3yo nov hdl (2) sft in Dec '06.
Pugilist 28-1 (9-0) Mid-division, lost place 2f out, 12th of 16, 13l behind Wiggy Smith (9-8) at Leicester 1m 2f hcp 0-75 (5) gd in Oct (Flat).
Rear Gunner (IRE) 14-1 (11-6) Held up, steady headway 4 out, mistake 3 out, chased leading pair approaching last and weakened, 4th of 10, 12l behind Fruity O'Rooney (11-6) at Folkestone 2m 6f nov hdl (4) hvy in Jan.
Rebeccas Choice (IRE) 13-2 (10-12) Jumped badly right 1st, mistake and reminder next, soon 2nd, driven 6th, soon lost place, tailed off, 4th of 8, 46l behind Little Josh (10-12) at Lingfield 2m 3f nov hdl (4) sft in Nov.
The Black Baron (IRE) 40-1 (11-3) Held up towards rear, some progress 3 out, weakened 2 out, 6th of 21, 28l behind Edgbriar (11-13) at Doncaster 2m 3f nh nov hdl (3) sft in Jan.
The Dodger Carey (IRE) 12-1 (11-4) In touch, ridden 2 out, well beaten when left 4th last, 4th of 12, 26l behind Den of Iniquity (11-4) at Folkestone 2m 1f nov hdl (4) hvy in Jan.
The Old Pretender (IRE) 1-8 (11-6) Tracked leaders, mistake 2 out, led soon after, mistake last when very tired and followed kink in rail and soon headed, lost momentum and rallied close home, 2nd of 10, hd behind Fruity O'Rooney (11-6) at Folkestone 2m 6f nov hdl (4) hvy i.