SKI SUNDAY gets a handy weight-for-age allowance and is preferred to Medermit, Sentry Duty and Snap Tie. Tim Vaughan's progressive gelding is the only horse that he brings up to the meeting and he will be hoping that it is a successful raid. He franked his Fred Winter second by running a stormer behind Walkon in the Grade One for four-year-old's at Aintree and if he handles this step up in age group then he should run well. Emmpat is an interesting Irish raider given his stable's good record at the track and this 11-year-old won this race two years ago. Culcabock sprung a surprise by winning at Aintree and is penalised accordingly, whilst the progressive Secret Tune is open to more improvement and despite being 4lb out of the weights he should give his hat-trick bid a bold go. Medermit heads the list of dangers following a staying-on second in the Supreme Novices' at Cheltenham. His opening mark in handicaps is 146 which will make life tough but he cannot be ruled out. Snap Tie and Blue Bajan both have more experience to draw on but each has found it tough going this season, comments that also apply to Takeroc. Sentry Duty represents powerful connections and although he failed to feature in the Champion Hurdle, it appears that Cheltenham doesn't suit and he is rated better than that effort. Harper Valley is one to watch for market support having not been with the yard for long, but it is Ski Sunday who can come home in first place.
Blue Bajan (IRE) 40-1 (11-7) Mid-division, raced keenly, lost place when not fluent 5th, squeezed out on bend soon after, headway 3 out, ridden before 2 out, weakened approaching last, 8th of 15, 22l behind Solwhit (11-7) at Aintree 2m 4f hdl G1 (1) gs.
Snap Tie (IRE) 40-1 (11-10) Held up towards rear, headway 5th, beaten when not much room after 2 out, weakened approaching last, 7th of 23, 14l behind Punjabi (11-10) at Cheltenham 2m hdl G1 (1) gs in Mar.
Sentry Duty (FR) 33-1 (11-10) Mid-division, hit 1st, ridden and struggling when hampered 3 out, 14th of 23, 33l behind Punjabi (11-10) at Cheltenham 2m hdl G1 (1) gs in Mar.
Medermit (FR) 12-1 (11-7) Mid-division, stumbled on bend after 5th, headway next, ridden after 2 out, staying on when not fluent and hampered last, finished strongly, 2nd of 20, nk behind Go Native (11-7) at Cheltenham 2m nov hdl G1 (1) gs in Mar.
Takeroc (FR) 50-1 (11-10) Held up, weakened from 4 out, pulled up before last, in a race won by Voy Por Ustedes (11-10) at Aintree 2m 4f Grade 1 chs (1) gd, 10 ran.
Harper Valley (IRE) 6-1 (10-12) Prominent, chased leader 6th, ridden 3 out, close 3rd when jumped awkwardly last, kept on same pace, 3rd of 7, 9l behind Hills Of Aran (11-8) at Fontwell 2m 4f hcp hdl (2) gd in Mar.
Noble Alan (GER) 14-1 (11-5) Mid-division until 5th, soon behind, 15th of 21, 34l behind Sentry Duty (11-9) at Ascot 2m Listed hcp hdl (1) gs in Dec.
Culcabock (IRE) 66-1 (11-0) Prominent, pushed along after 5th, ridden before 3 out, ran on under pressure flat, led near finish, won at Aintree 2m cond hcp hdl 4yo+ (2) gs beating Issaquah (10-9) by shd, 21 ran.
Emmpat (IRE) 2-1fav (11-12) Tracked leaders in 5th, 4th and pushed along before 3 out, ridden and no impression 2 out, kept on under pressure from last, 2nd of 8, 5l behind Definate Spectacle (11-2) at Cork 2m 2f hdl std in Sep '07.
Ski Sunday 12-1 (11-0) In touch, raced keenly, not fluent 6th, led soon after, blundered and headed 2 out, no impression last, 2nd of 13, 13l behind Walkon (11-0) at Aintree 2m 4yo nov hdl G1 (1) gd.
Take The Breeze (FR) 20-1 (11-1) Always behind, 10th of 19, 31l behind Dave's Dream (10-13) at Sandown 2m lst hcp hdl (0-150) (1) gd in Mar.
Issaquah (IRE) 16-1 (10-9) Tracked leader, led 3rd to 4th, led 3 out, wandered flat, headed near finish, 2nd of 21, shd behind Culcabock (11-0) at Aintree 2m cond hcp hdl 4yo+ (2) gs.
Secret Tune 10-3fav (11-6) Chased leaders, hit 3 out, driven next, left 2nd last, driven ahead flat, won at Newbury 2m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gd in Mar beating Wingman (11-9) by 1 1/4l, 9 ran.
Cybergenic (FR) 200-1 (11-7) Mid-division on outside, behind 6th, tailed off when pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Solwhit (11-7) at Aintree 2m 4f hdl G1 (1) gs, 15 ran.
Oddshoes (IRE) 9-2 (11-0) Always prominent, led 3 out, hit 2 out, clear approaching last, pushed out, comfortably, won at Hereford 2m 1f mdn hdl (5) gd in Mar beating Ffos Las Diamond (11-0) by 11l, 13 ran.