Its Tough, Baron Breeze, Quail and Present Gesture make up the shortlist here and narrow preference is for QUAIL. We must add Diamond Frontier as a danger as he has had several runs over hurdles already and whilst he hasn't got his head in front, he has shown plenty of potential and should not be long in winning. However he was beaten behind a horse of Nigel Twiston-Davies last time, Andrew Nick, so with the trainer sending out the selection Quail, he should know where he is. The stable are always a force at this time of year and a bumper winner at Worcester last time, the only four-year-old in the line-up is taken to oblige. Baron Breeze is from a small yard and should not be taken lightly as this former point-to-pointer did well to win a bumper when last seen and his future lies over obstacles, whilst Its Tough and Present Gesture both come from much-respected yards. Haroum needs to improve to beat some interesting rivals, and so we will return to Quail to break his duck at the first time of asking over hurdles.
Baron Breeze (IRE) 8-1 (10-11) Made all, hard ridden, challenged 2f out, all out, won at Newcastle 2m nhf (5) gf in Mar beating Eyre Square (11-1) by a nse, 9 ran.
Barra Lad (IRE) 50-1 (11-0) Always behind, 10th of 14, well behind Classic Moon (11-0) at Perth 2m nh mdn hdl (4) gs in Apr.
Diamond Frontier (IRE) 6-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders, led 5th, mistake 4 out, headed 2 out, ridden and kept on same pace approaching last, 3rd of 12, 3 1/2l behind Andrew Nick (11-0) at Perth 2m 4f mdn hdl (4) gd in Apr.
Even Smarter 66-1 (10-12) Mid-division, ridden and weakened approaching 3 out, tailed off when pulled up 2 out in race won by Middleton Dene (11-7) at Perth 2m 4f nov hdl (4) gs in Aug '07, 10 ran.
Haroum (USA) 4-1jt-fav (10-6) Mid-division, pushed along when jumped slowly 4th, headway approaching 3 out, soon went 2nd, no extra flat, 6th of 14, 5l behind Faith And Reason (11-5) at Southwell 2m cnd hcp hdl (5) gf in Aug.
Its Tough (IRE) 20-1 (11-0) Held up, lost place 9f out, headway over 3f out, led over 1f out, hung left, ran on well, won at Southwell 2m nhf (5) gs in Apr beating Tanks For That (10-9) by 3l, 11 ran.
Solway Bay 25-1 (9-12) Not fluent 1st, held up, headway 3 out, ridden last, stayed on under pressure to go 2nd flat, no impression, 2nd of 9, 7l behind Maneki Neko (11-12) at Cartmel 2m 1f nov hcp hdl 0-100 (4) gd in Aug.
Quail (FR) 9-2 (10-13) Made virtually all, shaken up inside final furlong, kept on well, won at Worcester 2m mdn nhf (6) sft in Apr beating King of Atlantis (11-4) by 5l, 11 ran.
Jane Doe 100-1 (9-12) Always in rear, 6th of 12, well behind Thats Confidential (11-0) at Sedgefield 2m 4f nov hdl (4) gf.
Present Gesture (IRE) 11-4jt-fav (10-9) Tracked leaders, ridden over 3f out, led over 2f out, driven out, won at Perth 2m nhf (5) gd in Jun beating One More Gypsy (10-4) by 3 1/2l, 18 ran.
Turbulent Flight 100-1 (10-0) In touch, ridden after 3 out, kept on same pace, no impression, 4th of 14, 28l behind Mhilu (11-0) at Perth 2m 4f mdn hdl (5) gf in Jul.