GWANAKO fell and Island Life unseated his rider when Cloudy Lane won the Fox Hunters' Chase at Aintree last year. Both, however, were in touch at the time and may well have taken a hand in the finish. We'll take Paul Nicholls' grey to come out on top today if he passes up an alternative engagement at Sandown this weekend. Pistolet Noir hasn't quite fulfilled earlier potential and appears to have two ways of running while Moon Over Miami lost his way under Rules last year. Creevytennant has a good strike-rate but might struggle at this level.
Cloudy Lane 4-1fav (12-0) Always prominent on inside, went 2nd after 3 out, challenged next, led last, ridden and kept on flat, won at Aintree 2m 5f hts chs (2) gs in Apr beating Roulez Cool (12-0) by 2 3/4l, 26 ran.
Gwanako (FR) 4-6fav (12-2) Held up, effort after 4 out, soon ridden, no impression, weakened 2 out, 4th of 5, 35l behind Louis Pasteur (10-4) at Newton Abbot 2m 5f hcp hts chs (4) gd in May.
Island Life (IRE) 9-4 (12-1) Led until 2nd, tracked leader, bumped 11th, led after next, bumped when pressed last, stayed on and in command flat, won at Ludlow 2m 4f hts chs (6) gd in May beating Fairwood Present (11-7) by 1/2l, 10 ran.
Moon Over Miami (GER) 50-1 (10-0) Always towards rear, 9th of 26, 40l behind Always Waining (10-11) at Aintree 2m 5f hcp chs G3 (1) gd in Apr.
Creevytennant (IRE) 9-2 (11-5) Jumped right, led, not fluent 4th, hit 12th, mistake 3 out, soon headed and beaten, 6th of 9, 18l behind Traffic Article (11-8) at Cheltenham 3m nov chs (2) gf in Oct '11.
Pistolet Noir (FR) Evensfav (11-7) Tracked leaders, hit 3rd and lost place, jumped right 6th, well beaten after 3 out, 8th of 13, well behind Rash Move (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m hts chs (5) sft in May.
Oaklands Bobby 3-1 (12-5) Prom; led 11-3 out; wknd app last, 3rd of 7, 6l behind Oedipe (12-5) at Witton Castle 3m ptp gd in May.
The Wifes Pet (IRE) 22-1 (11-0) Chased leaders, mistake 5th, lost place 7th, soon struggling, no danger after, tailed off, 4th of 7, well behind Balzaccio (11-10) at Huntingdon 2m 4f nov chs (4) gd in Oct '11.