Third Intention was third in this last year and this is not a great renewal of the Grade 1. He was trying to give Just A Par 7lb at Newbury but was beaten 14 lengths and his only victory over fences so far has come in a match. Just A Par will probably start favourite given his progressive profile but there's been plenty of rain around and GREEN FLAG would probably be the one best suited if the ground turned very soft. He has to step up again if he's to complete a four-timer over fences but that isn't out of the question as he jumps really well for a novice and stays extremely well. It will be a surprise if either Annacotty or Buachaill Alainn are good enough however.
Annacotty (IRE) 7-2 (11-1) Led narrowly, headed 10th, tracked leader, left in narrow lead again 5 out, headed last, rallied to regain lead briefly flat, held towards finish, 2nd of 7, 1 3/4l behind Samingarry (10-6) at Chepstow 3m (3) gs.
Buachaill Alainn (IRE) 8-1 (11-5) Chased leaders in 3rd and last, not fluent 9th, struggling and reminders before next, no chance from 4 out, tailed off, last of 3, well behind Black Thunder (11-8) at Lingfield 3m nov chs Grade 2 (1) sft.
Green Flag (IRE) 5-6fav (11-5) Tracked leaders, challenged approaching 4 out, soon led, narrow advantage when left clear 2 out, unchallenged after, won at Newcastle 3m (3) gd in Nov beating Green Wizard (10-9) by 9l, 5 ran.
Just A Par (IRE) 5-4fav (11-2) Led, headed after 13th, chased leader, led again 4 out, joined 2 out, stayed on to assert before last, pushed readily clear flat, won at Newbury 3m nov chs Grade 2 (1) gs in Nov beating Third Intention (11-9) by 14l, 5 ran.
Third Intention (IRE) 11-8 (11-9) Took keen hold tracking leading pair, challenged 4 out, tracked winner before next, every chance 2 out, ridden no extra and well held before last, 2nd of 5, 14l behind Just A Par (11-2) at Newbury 3m nov chs Grade 2 (1) gs in Nov.