Paul Nicholls has won three of the last four renewals. Time will tell whether FAR WEST is up to the standard of the likes of Celestial Halo and Zarkandar but his only defeat last season came at the hands of Champion Hurdle prospect Our Conor in the Triumph Hurdle in March and he's probably worth chancing in this. Melodic Rendezvous won the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown in January and followed up at Exeter but he was forced to miss Cheltenham and Aintree and is probably best watched here under a big weight. Karinga Dancer is progressive and still relatively unexposed but will have to improve again to get involved here while the others are solid handicappers who will probably run up to their mark without being quite good enough.
Melodic Rendezvous 5-4 (11-11) Held up, smooth headway to track leader after 4th, travelling best approaching 3 out, challenged last, led soon after, shaken up and came readily clear, easily, won at Exeter 2m 1f Listed nov hdl (1) hvy in Feb beating Puffin Billy (11-11) by 9l, 5 ran.
Cotton Mill 9-1 (11-3) Tracked leader, effort and every chance 3 out, soon ridden, lost place next, no extra last, 8th of 21, 18l behind Minella Forfitness (10-3) at Aintree 2m 4f Listed hcp hdl (1) gs in Apr.
Ahyaknowyerself (IRE) 7-1 (11-4) Raced keenly, pressed leader and clear of rest, led before 4th, made rest and unchallenged after, 9 lengths clear when not fluent last, eased flat, won at Market Rasen 2m 1f Listed hcp hdl (1) gd in Sep beating Orthodox Lad (10-1) by 14l, 11 ran.
Karinga Dancer 4-1fav (11-4) Mid-division, headway before 3 out, tracking leaders going well when hampered before 2 out, led approaching last where not fluent, ridden clear flat, stayed on well, won at Aintree 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-150 (2) gs in Oct beating Bygones Of Brid (10-10) by 8l, 10 ran.
Far West (FR) 4-1 (11-0) Mistake 1st, tracked leaders, outpaced 2 out, rallied approaching last, ridden and stayed on to take 2nd flat, no chance with impressive winner, 2nd of 17, 15l behind Our Conor (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m 1f 4yo hdl Grade 1 (1) gs in Mar.
Swnymor (IRE) 11-2 (11-5) Took keen hold tracking leading pair, not fluent 2nd, joined winner 3rd, pushed along and lost 2nd 3 out (normal 4 out), weakened before next, well beaten when fell last, in a race won by Handazan (10-10) at Chepstow 2m Limited hcp hdl (2) gd in Oct, 6 ran.
Ruler of All (IRE) 16-1 (10-4) Held up in rear, last and wide on home turn when still going well enough, some headway and 7th when hampered last, ran on flat, nearest finish, 6th of 11, 8l behind Crowning Jewel (11-1) at Aintree 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-145 (2) gd in Oct.