Just the four runners but a difficult race to call nonetheless and one in which a chance is taken on YOUNGSTOWN. Donald McCain's charge has winning form at the track and race fitness on his side, having had a run at Kelso on ground quicker than he likes. That day the seven-year-old refused to settle having been taken on for the lead and, with this small field playing to his strengths and softer ground to relish, he's taken to leave that form well behind. Sarde won first-time-out in 2008 and also has a course victory to his name but the biggest threat is likely to be Rebeccas Choice, a consistent type who improved throughout last season and is bred to continue that upward curve now tackling fences. Completing the line-up is Work Boy who can't be ignored representing last year's winning trainer but the feeling is this run will be needed.
Youngstown (IRE) 7-1 (11-8) With leader and keen, led 5th, hit next, blundered and headed 12th, weakened after last, 5th of 10, 14l behind Or de Grugy (10-10) at Kelso 3m 1f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gf in Oct.
Sarde (FR) 7-2 (11-5) Held up behind, ridden after 5 out, stayed on to go moderate 3rd last, edged left under pressure flat, lost 3rd near finish, 4th of 8, 10l behind King Fontaine (10-12) at Wetherby 2m 4f nov chs 0-115 (4) sft in Apr.
Rebeccas Choice (IRE) 9-2fav (11-3) Towards rear, niggled along at several stages, headway approaching 9th, driven 3 out, chased winner approaching last, no impression final 100 yards, 2nd of 17, 1l behind Master Eddy (11-2) at Newbury 3m hcp hdl 0-115 (4) sft in Mar.
Work Boy 8-1 (11-4) In touch 3rd, pushed along after 10th, stayed on to chase winner approaching 2 out, no impression flat, 2nd of 9, 9l behind Phone In (10-10) at Ayr 2m 5f nov hcp chs 0-120 (3) gd in Apr.