SOUTER POINT has been well-hyped up and is given the vote in this intriguing contest; Peter Grimes and Fin Vin De Leu may give the selection most to think about. Nicky Henderson's son of Giant's Causeway has been nibbled at in the Triumph Hurdle betting this week and reports from Seven Barrows have been positive. He was good on the flat without being spectacular but he has the scope to make an impact over hurdles and assuming the market vibes on track are positive then he should post a good first effort. Stablemate Onemix was also fair on the flat but she was a tad regressive at the back end of last season and looks the stable second string on jockey bookings, Shalamabar is an interesting Irish recruit for Tony Carroll and he was an expensive purchase for the yard (£80,000), Kings Troop needs to improve on two runs and stablemate Peter Grimes is more interesting despite his penalty, whilst Alhaque flopped last time after a good first run behind Advisor. Drumshambo's win came in a small field and he beat a horse who has disappointed since, however he is full of potential and he has the class (half-brother to an Irish 2000 Guineas winner) to put up a bold bid. Open Day ran in snatches when winning at Market Rasen and didn't look straightforward; however his jockey only had to sit and point him in the closing stages there such was the turn of foot shown and he rates a danger. Call It On is another interesting newcomer rated in the 80's on the flat, Fin Vin De Leu shaped with bags of promise at Plumpton but this is a stronger race, whilst Emma Lavelle won this race in 2008 with Crack Away Jack so in the same colours his close relative Heez A Cracker must be considered after a good first run at Ascot. A wonderfully informative race, and perhaps the best novice contest seen this season, one in which the vote is given to Souter Point.
Drumshambo (USA) 4-1 (10-12) In touch, led 3rd, made rest, ridden 2 out, stayed on well, eased near finish, won at Bangor 2m 1f Juvenile Maiden Hurdle (4yo) (4) gs beating Braveheart Move (10-12) by 6l, 6 ran.
Open Day (IRE) 9-2 (10-12) Chased leader, outpaced from 3 out and soon pushed along, ran on from last, led towards finish, won at Market Rasen 2m 1f 4yo nov hdl (4) gs beating Veronicas Boy (10-12) by 2 1/2l, 10 ran.
Peter Grimes (IRE) 6-4fav (11-5) Chased leading pair, chased winner 5th until driven approaching 2 out, weakened between last 2, 3rd of 7, 12l behind Westlin' Winds (11-2) at Plumpton 2m 3yo nov hdl (4) sft in Dec.
Alhaque (USA) 11-8fav (10-12) Held up on outside, chased leading pair 6th, outpaced 3 out, soon beaten, lost 3rd last, 4th of 7, 41l behind Stars Du Granits (10-12) at Plumpton 2m 4yo nov hdl (4) gs in Jan.
Call It On (IRE) 14-1 (9-4) Chased leaders, no extra inside final furlong, 8th of 15, 4l behind Luc Jordan (9-0) at Doncaster 1m 2f 3yo hcp 0-85 (4) gd in Oct (flat).
Fin Vin de Leu (GER) 9-4 (10-7) Tended to jump left, led to 2nd, chased winner 5th, ridden and outpaced approaching 2 out, kept on same pace, no impression, 2nd of 7, 8l behind Stars Du Granits (10-12) at Plumpton 2m 4yo nov hdl (4) gs in Jan.
Heez A Cracker (FR) 12-1 (10-12) Held up in rear, effort to chase leaders 3 out, soon outpaced, no impression approaching next, 6th of 8, 24l behind Advisor (11-4) at Ascot 2m 4yo nov hdl (3) sft in Jan.
Kings Troop 33-1 (10-9) Took keen hold, held up tracking leaders, effort going well after 3 out, 3rd when hit 2 out, weakened before last, 4th of 8, 11l behind Diktalina (10-7) at Sandown 2m 4yo nov hdl (3) sft.
Shalambar (IRE) 5-1 (8-3) 5th of 16, 2 1/4l behind Erdiyna (8-8) at Naas 1m 4f hcp 3yo+ gd in Oct (flat).
Souter Point (USA) 7-2 (8-4) Led early, chased winner, ridden to challenge inside final furlong, always held, 2nd of 3, 1/2l behind Highland Glen (9-2) at Leicester 1m 4f hcp 0-100 (2) gf in Oct (flat).
Theologist (IRE) 33-1 (10-12) Not always fluent, in touch, lost place 2nd, struggling after 6th, plugged on to go 3rd when hit 2 out, no chance with front pair, 3rd of 6, 13l behind Orzare (11-5) at Fontwell 2m 2f 4yo nov hdl (4) sft.
Onemix 8-1 (8-12) Tracked leading trio, pushed along over 3f out, one pace and struggling final 2f, 3rd of 5, 14l behind Royal Diamond (9-7) at Wolverhampton 1m 6f hcp 0-85 (4) pol in Oct (flat).