Thunder Child won twice over C&D at this time last year and beat previous course winner and today's rival Kirby's Glen in April. He's looked high enough in the weights since then, however, and the vote goes to GORING ONE. He can be forgiven a recent modest third at Newbury in unsuitably soft going and is better judged on his progressive form before that when winning three times on fast ground. Anna Newton-Smith's charge is just preferred to Ready Or Not, as the latter is having his first race since scoring at Fontwell last April and may need the outing.
Goring One (IRE) 6-1 (11-10) Prominent, went 2nd 6th, not fluent 8th, 4th and ridden after 5 out, no impression 3 out, left 3rd last, stayed on towards finish, 3rd of 6, 13l behind Back Bob Back (11-2) at Newbury 2m 2f hcp chs 0-115 (4) sft in Dec.
Cantabilly (IRE) 9-1 (11-12) Chased winner until mistake 7th, dropped to last next, weakened and mistake 4 out, blundered next, left modest 3rd and slightly hampered last, 3rd of 5, 11l behind Akarshan (12-0) at Taunton 2m nov hcp chs 0-115 (4) gd.
Ready Or Not (IRE) 3-1fav (10-10) Chased leaders, went 2nd 11th, led 3 out, in command and stayed on well from next, comfortably, won at Fontwell 2m 4f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gd in Apr beating Psi (11-0) by 6l, 9 ran.
Douryna 7-1 (10-8) Chased leading trio, ridden in 5th before 12th, soon one pace, left modest 4th 3 out, mistake last, 4th of 9, 25l behind French Ties (11-0) at Newbury 2m 4f hcp chs 0-120 (4) gd.
Daneva (IRE) 11-2 (10-10) Held up in mid-division, headway 5th, outpaced 8th, soon weakened, tailed off, 5th of 11, well behind Hassadin (11-3) at Ludlow 2m 5f sll hdl (4-8yo) (5) gd in Feb.
Jackers 10-1 (11-5) Led at good pace and clear 4th until 7th, headed next, weakened soon after next, tailed off, 6th of 8, well behind Mon Chevalier (11-5) at Wincanton 2m hcp chs 0-105 (4) gs.
Thunder Child 12-1 (11-4) Chased leader, led 8th, ridden and headed before 3 out, no chance with winner, kept on for 2nd, 2nd of 8, 9l behind Mon Chevalier (11-5) at Wincanton 2m hcp chs 0-105 (4) gs.
Kirbys Glen (IRE) 5-2 (11-10) Held up, hampered 3rd, left 2nd 10th until not fluent 13th, ridden 3 out, went 2nd when mistake last, no chnace with winner, 2nd of 5, 10l behind Nomad (10-4) at Taunton 2m 7f hcp chs 0-95 (5) gf in Nov.