It's no surprise to see Scoter Fontaine back over hurdles after failing to complete the course in four of his last five starts over fences, winning the other. He's produced some decent efforts over timber without winning and though absent since February his trainer knows how to get one ready. Hoback Junction won twice over hurdles in 2010 but hasn't had much racing subsequently while the lightly-raced Tornado In Milan has been pulling too hard in his races. Alwaystheoptimist ran a fine race at Ludlow a year ago but didn't reappear until last month where he weakened quickly from the second last. That should have done him good but Buckie Boy appears to need quicker ground. Flying Phoenix is well enough weighted but it's EXTREMELY SO who is given the nod as she produced her best run for some time when runner-up to Home Run over the C&D last time and can race from the same mark.
Scoter Fontaine (FR) 11-1 (10-13) Held up towards rear, hit 8th, soon headway, went 3rd from 5 out, in 3rd when fell heavily 3 out, in a race won by Cannington Brook (11-12) at Haydock 2m 4f Novice Handicap Chase (0-140) (5yo+) (3) hvy in Feb, 8 ran.
Hoback Junction (IRE) 9-2 (11-3) Tracked winner, blundered 7th, ridden before 2 out,, soon weakened, last of 5, 43l behind Union Island (11-1) at Market Rasen 2m 5f hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gd in Mar.
Scottish Boogie (IRE) 20-1 (10-11) Mid-division, not fluent 3rd, well beaten 3 out, tailed off, 11th of 12, well behind Bourne (11-12) at Kempton 2m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) hvy in Dec.
Tornado In Milan (IRE) 8-1 (10-12) Led to post, pulled hard and refused to settle until headway to lead 3rd, hit 7th, mistake and headed 3 out, kept on same pace, no impression when hit last, 5th of 9, 12l behind The Romford Pele (10-9) at Chepstow 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Dec.
Alwaystheoptimist 8-1 (11-4) Took keen hold, chased leader until before 2 out, soon no chance with winner and no extra in 3rd, 3rd of 7, 30l behind Laterly (11-5) at Leicester 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) hvy in Dec.
Buckie Boy (IRE) 9-1 (11-11) Prominent, reminder after 1st, not fluent and ridden 3rd, mistake 5th, weakened approaching 3 out, pulled up before next, in a race won by Katchmore (11-9) at Exeter 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gd in Mar, 10 ran.
Pret A Thou (FR) 16-1 (11-2) Led until 4th, remained prominent, weakened 5 out, behind when mistake 2 out, pulled up last, in a race won by Desert Cry (11-6) at Haydock 2m hcp chs 0-135 (3) hvy in Dec, 8 ran.
Flying Phoenix 16-1 (10-7) Tracked leaders, went 2nd after 6th until not much room before 3 out, 4th and no extra when hit last, 4th of 15, 11l behind Karazhan (11-0) at Ludlow 2m mdn hdl (5) gd in Nov.
Extremely So 16-1 (10-1) In touch on inside, chased winner before 2 out, soon ridden, kept on and every chance after last, held towards finish, 2nd of 13, 2 3/4l behind Home Run (10-6) at Taunton 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-120 (4) hvy in Dec.
Party Palace 50-1 (10-3) Towards rear, plugged on from 2 out, mistake last, 7th of 16, 30l behind Cinevator (11-7) at Taunton 3m hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gd in Oct.