Nicky Henderson won this a year ago with Cucumber Run and can repeat the process with HEATHER ROYAL. A winning bumper and novice hurdle winner, she was in touch when unshipping Andrew Tinkler at Lingfield in November before a very good effort in a Grade 2 at Ascot last month won by her stablemate Molotof. Strongly Suggested, a debut winner in a Worcester bumper on good ground, hasn't done as well as expected over timber so far but is the type to improve as is Seedsman, who made a winning racecourse debut in an Aintree bumper in May and probably needed the run on his reappearance in November. Go Set Go has run well enough in bumpers but faces a stiff task on his hurdling bow.
Craignure (IRE) 50-1 (10-12) Keen, soon with leader, hit 3rd, lost place after 4th, pulled up before 4 out, in a race won by Darlan (10-12) at Kempton 2m NH nov hdl 4-6yo (4) gd in Nov, 7 ran.
Go Set Go 8-1 (10-13) Held up towards rear, headway halfway,led over 2f out, ridden and headed inside final furlong, kept on, 2nd of 15, 1l behind Viking Ridge (10-11) at Huntingdon 2m cond NH flat (6) gs in Dec.
Heather Royal 14-1 (10-11) Held up in rear, steady headway to chase leading quartett after 5th, ridden and one pace when left modest 4th 2 out, no impression when edged right flat, 4th of 7, 7l behind Molotof (11-7) at Ascot 2m nov hdl G2 (1) sft in Dec.
High Road (IRE) 8-1 (10-9) In rear, headway 5f out, ridden 3f out, weakened 2f out, 7th of 8, 30l behind Hazy Tom (10-11) at Bangor 2m 1f Conditional Nat Hunt Flat Race (4-6yo) (5) gd in Apr.
Merry King (IRE) 66-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders, ridden approaching 3 out, weakened before next, tailed off, 6th of 11, well behind Colour Squadron (11-0) at Newbury 2m mdn hdl (4) sft in Dec.
Milansbar (IRE) 100-1 (10-12) Mid-division, weakened approaching 3 out, 11th of 16, 43l behind Poole Master (10-9) at Uttoxeter 2m NH mdn hdl (5) gs in Nov.
Reste Jeune (FR) 100-1 (10-12) Behind, hit 6th, soon outpaced, weakened before 2 out, tailed off, last of 12, well behind Tetlami (10-9) at Sandown 2m nov hdl (4) gs in Dec.
Seedsman 20-1 (11-7) Close up in 5th, hung left from over 3f out, weakened over 2f out, lost modest 3rd closing stages, 4th of 8, 16l behind Barenger (11-0) at Newbury 2m NH flat (6) gs in Nov.
Strongly Suggested 10-3 (10-12) Took keen hold, held up in close 5th, headway to get in behind leaders approaching 3 out, edged left and weakened tamely 2 out, beaten when went left last, 5th of 13, 24l behind Swincombe Flame (10-5) at Exeter 2m 1f NH nov hdl 4-6yo (4) sft in Dec.
Taigan (FR) 66-1 (10-12) Mid-division, driven and outpaced before 2 out, soon weakened, 7th of 12, 30l behind Tetlami (10-9) at Sandown 2m nov hdl (4) gs in Dec.
Madame Allsorts 66-1 (11-4) Behind, ridden and struggling on inside 3f out, plugged on past weakening rivals final furlong, never in contention, 10th of 20, 21l behind Swincombe Flame (11-4) at Sandown 2m mrs N H flat lst (1) gd in Mar.
Who's Afraid 16-1 (10-10) Mid-division, struggling after 7th, tailed off, 11th of 16, well behind Dream Function (11-2) at Exeter 2m 3f mrs nov hdl (4) sft in Nov.