EMRANI has a little to prove on his seasonal return but Tim Leslie isn't in the habit of holding on to underperforming horses and the six-year-old can reward the owner's patience today. Another Hero brings a flawless record into the race and he certainly hasn't been unbacked when taking his chance. A half-brother to dual Grade 1 winning hurdler Back In Front, he has the pedigree to go some way further. Keel Haul won a maiden point-to-point at Toomebridge in May and hasn't been disgraced in two outings under Rules. Oscar Close and Up To The Mark are somewhat more exposed. The latter is a maiden over hurdles after a dozen previous starts but he shouldn't be dismissed out of hand as Henry Daly has often taken this route with his more established chasers.
Another Hero 5-4fav (10-11) Held up mid-division, headway before 4th, led before 2 out, clear when jumped left last, kept on well, won at Newton Abbot 2m 3f mdn hdl (5) gf beating Kalmbeforethestorm (11-0) by 8l, 13 ran.
Emrani (USA) 6-1 (11-0) Led, slow first, reminders and jumped right next, soon 4 lengths clear, headed 3 out, driven to lead again approaching last, out jumped and headed last, kept on one pace, 2nd of 5, 4l behind Clarion Call (10-12) at Bangor 2m 4f mdn hdl (5) gs in Aug.
Keel Haul (IRE) 7-1 (10-12) Held up in touch, chased winner 6th, ridden and well held before 2 out, eased flat, 2nd of 8, 16l behind Scoter Fontaine (11-5) at Worcester 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) gd.
Oscar Close (IRE) 11-2 (11-12) Held up mid-division, headway before 4 out, ridden and weakened before last, 5th of 10, 9l behind Adrenalin Flight (11-6) at Worcester 2m 7f hcp chs 0-110 (4) gd.
Up To The Mark 3-1fav (11-2) Led, mistake 7th, ridden 4 out, soon headed, well held 2 out, last of 9, well behind Alwaystheoptimist (11-9) at Stratford 2m 1f hcp chs 0-120 (4) gf in Jun.