Plein Pouvoir was beaten 10 lengths in this race last year off today's mark and is likely to find at least a couple too good again. Palace Jester is tumbling down the weights but needs to brush up his jumping while Shake The Barley was well beaten on his return from a lengthy absence. It would be no surprise to see Nom de Guerre improve for a set of blinkers but Addiction and Financial Climate both look high enough in the weights and Dunkelly Castle hasn't raced since the autumn. THOMAS WILD only won by a short-head at Newton Abbot but looks the type to run up a sequence in the summer months and Micheal Nolan's claim is a big plus in his favour - he is the one to beat.
Plein Pouvoir (FR) 4-1 (11-0) Pressed winner, hit 4 out, ridden and lost 2nd next, one pace last, 3rd of 5, 8l behind Frontier Spirit (11-12) at Newbury 2m 6f hcp chs 0-130 (3) hvy in Mar.
Addiction 2-1fav (11-9) Held up in touch, chased leaders 14th, led 5 out, narrow lead when pecked and fell after 4 out, in a race won by Milans Well (10-13) at Wincanton 3m 1f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gd in Apr, 7 ran.
Palace Jester 4-1 (10-12) Chased leading trio, not fluent 2nd, dropped to rear 11th, mistake next, headway to 4th before 4 out, ridden and well held after next, beaten when mistake last, 4th of 6, 22l behind Top Smart (10-12) at Exeter 3m hcp chs 0-140 (3) gf in Apr.
Financial Climate (IRE) 5-1 (10-12) Tended to jump right, chased winner until 12th, chased leading pair, went 2nd again and stumbled 2 out, no chance with easy winner, 2nd of 9, 5l behind Theatrical Star (11-10) at Fontwell 2m 6f nov chs (4) gs in Apr.
Thomas Wild 11-4fav (11-3) Tracked leaders, mistake 3rd, not fluent 12th, switched right after 3 out, jinked right when challenging just before 2 out, stayed on to lead post, won at Newton Abbot 3m 2f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs in Apr beating Balbriggan (11-11) by shd, 7 ran.
Dunkelly Castle (IRE) 7-2fav (11-4) In rear, jumped slow 3rd, headway before 14th, soon chased leader, led before 2 out, soon clear, not fluent last, stayed on strongly, won at Warwick 3m 2f hcp chs 0-100 (5) sft in Nov beating Pacha D'Oudairies (11-12) by 3l, 8 ran.
Nom de Guerre (IRE) 11-4 (11-12) Held up in rear, left 4th 11th, went close 3rd when fell 4 out, in a race won by Franklin Roosevelt (11-11) at Leicester 2m 7f hcp chs 0-105 (4) gs in Feb, 8 ran.
Shake The Barley (IRE) 12-1 (11-5) In rear, not fluent 4th, plugged on to take 4th 4 out, never any chance, 4th of 9, well behind Pensnett Bay (11-5) at Uttoxeter 2m 5f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gs in Apr.