Alwaystheoptimist arrives in fine form but is taking on better opposition now off a much higher mark. Tindaro won at Kempton before finishing fourth over hurdles at Wetherby but the handicapper has taken a real chance with TROOPER CLARENCE, who beat Oceana Gold when only receiving a couple of pounds at Exeter back in 2011. He gets 12lb from the returning top weight here and was second over course and distance the last time he competed at this level. Keki Buku and Temple Lord both have ability but are hard to win with.
Oceana Gold 25-1 (11-12) Led until 5th, led before next, headed approaching 7th, weakened 3 out, tailed off, 7th of 11, well behind Red Not Blue (11-9) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-140 (3) gd in Sep.
Tindaro (FR) 5-1 (10-9) Held up towards rear, headway before 2 out, one pace in 4th, 4th of 8, 16l behind Knight In Purple (10-10) at Wetherby 2m hcp hdl 0-140 (3) gd in May.
Alwaystheoptimist 10-3 (11-9) Prominent, led after 4 out, terrible mistake and headed next, led again 2 out, clear before last, ran on well, won at Stratford 2m 1f hcp chs 0-120 (4) gf beating Full Ov Beans (9-7) by 6l, 9 ran.
Trooper Clarence 20-1 (10-1) Held up, behind from 7th, 7th of 9, well behind Anquetta (10-8) at Worcester 2m hcp chs 0-150 (2) gd in May.
Keki Buku (FR) 3-1fav (11-5) Held up behind, headway 4 out, chased leading pair on outside next, ridden 2 out, kept on same pace, no impression before last, 3rd of 12, 6l behind Tindaro (11-6) at Kempton 2m hcp chs 0-130 (3) gd in May.
Temple Lord (FR) 4-1fav (11-6) Mid-division, headway 5th, challenged 4 out, every chance last, weakened final 150 yards, 5th of 11, 18l behind Fine Parchment (11-0) at Cartmel 2m 5f hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft in May.