The rising star of the two-mile brigade SOLWHIT can win again, seeing off Binocular in the process. Charles Byrnes' gelding showed an impressive turn of foot at Punchestown last time out, putting Muirhead and Hurricane Fly firmly in their place. His overall form stacks up well having beaten the Champion Hurdle winner Punjabi in May, and with any rain in his favour he looks a cracking bet. The obvious danger is Binocular. He was third in the Champion Hurdle so has a little to find on a form line through Punjabi, however there is an argument to say that he met his stablemate at his peak whereas Punjabi may have been slightly over the top at Punchestown. He has a good record fresh but his turn of foot is seen to best effect on good ground and he probably wouldn't want too much rain as he takes on a race-fit rival. Al Eile is a hero at Aintree but he is likely to be found out here over two miles, Blue Bajan was abject at Wincanton last time out but the form has been franked, whilst Supreme Novices' starlet Go Native was well-held at Down Royal last time out and on a form line through Hurricane Fly he needs to improve by about a stone. 2007 Champion Hurdle winner Sublimity has been the subject of good reports from the yard, however Robbie Hennessy's gelding has a little to prove these days when taking on top-notch opposition (as he does here). Won In The Dark completes the line-up but whilst he is closely matched with Sublimity on their run last December, Sabrina Harty's gelding has many lengths to find with Solwhit on their Punchestown running. A fascinating clash, but one of the better recent renewals can go the way of Solwhit.
Al Eile (IRE) 4-1fav (11-7) In touch on inside, hit 6th, challenged going well 3 out, led briefly approaching last, no extra flat, 4th of 15, 6l behind Solwhit (11-7) at Aintree 2m 4f hdl G1 (1) gs in Apr.
Binocular (FR) 6-4fav (11-10) Mid-division, headway approaching 5th, chased leading pair before 2 out, not fluent last, ridden flat, ran on towards finish, 3rd of 23, 1/2l behind Punjabi (11-10) at Cheltenham 2m hdl G1 (1) gs in Mar.
Blue Bajan (IRE) 13-2 (11-4) Held up in rear, mistake 5th, soon beaten, 6th of 7, 31l behind Celestial Halo (11-10) at Wincanton 2m Ltd hcp hdl (1) gs.
Go Native (IRE) 7-4 (11-12) Held up in rear, headway in 3rd 3 out, travelled well from 2 out, squeezed through on rail and ridden to challenge before last, no extra approaching last, kept on same pace, 2nd of 5, 13l behind Voler La Vedette (11-3) at Down Royal 2m hdl Grd 3 sft.
Solwhit (FR) 7-4 (11-10) Tracked leaders in 3rd, squeezed between horses to challenge before last, quickened impressively to lead run-in, drew clear close home, won at Punchestown 2m hdl G1 hvy beating Muirhead (11-10) by 2 1/2l, 4 ran.
Sublimity (FR) 20-1 (11-10) Sweating, held up towards rear, headway approaching 3 out, no further progress, 15th of 23, 47l behind Punjabi (11-10) at Cheltenham 2m hdl G1 (1) gs in Mar.
Won In The Dark (IRE) 33-1 (11-12) Chased leaders, 4th halfway, ridden in 5th 2 out, no extra in 7th entering straight, kept on one pace, 7th of 9, 16l behind Solwhit (11-12) at Punchestown 2m hdl G1 hvy in May.