RANJAAN ran well in a couple of competitive conditions races in March including a close-up fourth to Castilo Del Diablo over track and trip. A repeat could see Paul Nicholls' winning hurdler come out best in this. First Avenue has also been hurdling but scored over course and distance in 2012 and should figure. Dark Ranger won here in July when beating Presto Volante but hasn't raced since while Flemish School went close over 1m4f at the track recently and stays this longer trip. Highland Castle has won over 1m6f in the past but is hard to catch right nowadays.
Highland Castle 16-1 (9-1) In rear, never a factor, 15th of 23, 43l behind Conduct (9-2) at Doncaster 1m 4f hcp (2) sft in Nov.
Romeo Montague 14-1 (9-5) Held up in rear, switched right and headway well over 1f out, never on terms, 5th of 7, 5l behind Expert Fighter (9-0) at Kempton 1m 3f hcp 0-95 (3) pol in May.
Ranjaan (FR) 16-1 (9-2) Tracked leaders, ridden and every chance over 1f out, one pace towards finish, 4th of 10, 1 1/4l behind Castilo Del Diablo (9-2) at Kempton 2m cnd stks (4yo+) (2) pol in Mar.
Dark Ranger 12-1 (8-9) Held up towards rear, headway on outside to chase leaders as pace slackened after 4f, went 2nd 2f out, ridden to lead over 1f out, stayed on well, won at Kempton 2m hcp (0-90) (3) pol in Jul beating Presto Volante (8-8) by 1 3/4l, 11 ran.
First Avenue 12-1 (9-4) Held up well in rear, short lived effort on inside over 2f out, soon pushed along and outpaced, 5th of 6, 8l behind Rutherglen (8-5) at Kempton 2m hcap (4) pol in Feb.
Presto Volante (IRE) 14-1 (9-7) Mid-division, ridden 6f out, weakened over 2f out, tailed off, 6th of 10, well behind Sohar (9-4) at Newmarket 2m hcp 0-90 (3) sft in Nov.
Flemish School 8-1 (9-5) Held up towards rear, headway over 3f out, chased winner entering final furlong, kept on and held towards finish, 2nd of 6, 1 1/4l behind Jakey (9-2) at Kempton 1m 4f hcp 0-80 (4) pol.
Ermyn Lodge 66-1 (8-9) Slowly away, always in rear, 15th of 18, 37l behind Broxbourne (9-0) at Goodwood 2m 5f hcp 0-95 (2) gs in Jul.
Storm Hawk (IRE) 25-1 (9-6) last of 8, well behind Arr' Kid (9-3) at Southwell 1m 6f hcp 0-85 (4) fbs in Mar.