RED HARBOUR looks to be the ideal type for this race and is preferred to Aberdale and the King and McCain runners. The two trainers mentioned haven't landed this race in the last ten seasons but they have sent out numerous placed horses and it should just be a matter of time until they set the record straight. Alderley Rover has struggled with his jumping and has come down the weights as a result but he looked on the way back last time whilst Empty Sky has performed with credit all season and should ensure that this is run at a good pace. Swansbrook had Red Harbour behind last time and looks fairly treated as does Stoney's Treasure who disappointed last time. Alfie Spinner makes more appeal than Diamond Brook but five year olds have struggled in this race which also leads us to rule out Ranjobaie and making Larks Lad, Sonowyouno and Fabulous Fred of more interest. Larks Lad is heading the right way, Sonowyouno is better than he showed last time whilst Fabulous Fred has always been well regarded and won easily last time. Aberdale has caught the eye on each of his runs over hurdles and better is expected from him in handicap company for an owner/trainer combination that took this race with Albertas Run and he should prove better than his initial mark in time but so, too, should the selection. Red Harbour will need to step up on the form that he's shown over hurdles but he looks fairly treated on his bumper form and, in that respect, has a similar profile to last year's winner. He looks better handicapped than most of the runners from his yard, took a step in the right direction last time and Red Harbour can build on that by landing this valuable prize.
Alvarado (IRE) 11-4 (11-12) Tracked leader, effort to lead briefly before 3 out, every chance next, mistake last, kept on flat, not pace of winner, 2nd of 7, 1 1/2l behind Candy Creek (11-1) at Musselburgh 2m 4f nh nov hdl (3) gs in Feb.
My Shamwari (IRE) 9-2 (11-8) Tracked leaders, took keen hold, ridden approaching 2 out, stayed on under pressure to chase winner last, no impression, just held on for 2nd, 2nd of 13, 3l behind Rackham Lerouge (11-2) at Bangor 2m 1f NH nov hdl (4-7yo) (4) gs in Feb.
Ranjobaie (FR) 5-2fav (10-9) Held up, headway 3 out, challenged and slightly hampered last, led flat, stayed on well, won at Market Rasen 2m 3f nov hdl (3) gs in Feb beating Bygones Of Brid (11-12) by 3 1/2l, 12 ran.
Fabulous Fred (IRE) 15-8 (11-2) Made all, soon clear hit 7th, ridden and ran on flat, won at Fakenham 2m 4f NH nov hdl (4-7yo) (3) sft in Feb beating Born Again (11-5) by 2 3/4l, 7 ran.
Bangkok Pete (IRE) 7-4fav (11-10) Tracked leader, led 6th, ridden after 2 out, headed last, edged left flat, one pace, 2nd of 11, 5l behind Born Again (10-13) at Fontwell 2m 2f NH nov hdl (4-7yo) (4) sft in Feb.
Sonowyouno (IRE) 11-1 (10-11) Mid-division, ridden approaching 3 out, never on terms, 10th of 18, 12l behind Sir Harry Ormesher (11-5) at Doncaster 2m 3f hcp hdl (2) gs in Feb.
Emperor Concerto 11-4 (11-0) Lead to 3rd, remained close up, led again 6th, hit 3 out, clear when blundered last, driven out, won at Doncaster 3m beg chase (4) sft in Feb beating Special Envoy (11-0) by 1l, 7 ran.
Larks Lad (IRE) 9-1 (11-12) Prominent, challenged 3 out, led next, headed after last, one pace, 2nd of 14, 1 1/4l behind Cool Mission (11-2) at Doncaster 2m 3f NH nov hdl (4-7yo) (4) gs in Feb.
Swansbrook (IRE) 33-1 (11-2) Mid-division, headway 3 out, effort on inside next, soon ridden, stayed on under pressure to lead flat, won at Ascot 2m 3f NH nov hdl (4-7yo) (3) sft in Jan beating Red Harbour (11-2) by 1 1/2l, 12 ran.
Alfie Spinner (IRE) 11-2 (10-8) Took keen hold, chased leaders, challenged last, driven and stayed on to lead towards finish, won at Newbury 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-140 (2) sft in Jan beating Majaales (10-13) by 3/4l, 11 ran.
Red Harbour (IRE) 5-1 (11-2) Mid-division, mistake 3rd, driven and headway approaching 2 out, ridden and stayed on to lead briefly flat, no extra towards finish, 2nd of 12, 1 1/2l behind Swansbrook (11-2) at Ascot 2m 3f NH nov hdl (4-7yo) (3) sft in Jan.
Empty Sky Evensfav (11-9) Made all, ridden clear from 2 out, ran on well, eased close home, won at Catterick 2m nov hdl (4) gs in Feb beating Twentynineblack (10-13) by 4 1/2l, 11 ran.
Babysitter (IRE) 3-1fav (10-12) Tracked leaders, led 8th, ridden and hard pressed 2 out, rider dropped whip flat, kept on, won at Wetherby 2m 6f nov hdl (4) sft in Feb beating Monogram (10-9) by 3 1/2l, 12 ran.
Ballybach (IRE) 8-1 (11-2) Raced wide, in touch, headway to chase leaders from 8th, not fluent 3 out, upsides winner and every chance when fell last, in a race won by Preuty Boy (10-13) at Plumpton 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gs in Feb, 9 ran.
Diamond Brook (IRE) 2-1fav (11-4) Held up towards rear, headway 6th, chased leading trio after 4 out, chasing winner and 10 lengths down when hit 2 out, left well clear after last (no time taken), won at Exeter 2m 3f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Feb beating Bump In The Night (11-1) by 10l, 13 ran.
Alderley Rover (IRE) 22-1 (10-13) Mid-division, not fluent 4th, headway next, outpaced after 6th, switched right and not fluent last, stayed on well flat, just failed to snatch 2nd, 3rd of 13, 3 1/2l behind Rackham Lerouge (11-2) at Bangor 2m 1f NH nov hdl (4-7yo) (4) gs in Feb.
Aberdale (IRE) 14-1 (10-13) Held up towards rear, headway approaching 3 out, ridden approaching next, one pace, 4th of 14, 11l behind Cool Mission (11-2) at Doncaster 2m 3f NH nov hdl (4-7yo) (4) gs in Feb.
Stoney's Treasure 7-2fav (11-11) Mid-division, headway approaching 6th, weakened before last, 7th of 16, 23l behind Oenologue (11-1) at Fontwell 2m 2f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) sft in Feb.