GOLDEN HOOF is conceding 4lb to Blackwater King but has a 12lb higher official rating. He was outclassed in the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown last month but had won his first two starts over timber, at Kempton and Sandown, and can get back on track here. Donald McCain's charge was beaten in a handicap at Doncaster last time but his future lies in that sphere and he's proving consistent. Gee Hi is interesting as he won a point-to-point and a bumper two years apart and is unlikely to fail through lack of fitness but may do better when tackling further.
Golden Hoof (IRE) 16-1 (11-7) Chased leading pair in 3rd until well before 2 out, soon weakened, last of 7, 32l behind Melodic Rendezvous (11-7) at Sandown 2m nov hdl Grade 1 (1) hvy in Jan.
Blackwater King (IRE) 11-8fav (11-12) Tracked leaders, challenged after 5th, led 3 out, mistake and headed 2 out, led again last, soon headed, stayed on same pace, 2nd of 11, 5l behind Renoyr (11-1) at Doncaster 2m nov hcp hdl 0-115 (4) sft in Dec.
Best Excuse 66-1 (10-12) Prominent, mistakes 1st and 2nd, weakened after 6th, pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Red Devil Boys (10-12) at Doncaster 2m 3f nov hdl (4) sft in Dec, 20 ran.
Gee Hi (IRE) 12-1 (11-4) Tracked leaders, effort over 2f out, ridden to challenge when edged left inside final furlong, led towards finish, won at Taunton 2m 1f mdn NH flat (5) gs in Jan '12 beating Rainbow Haze (10-13) by 1/2l, 14 ran.
Pennant Dancer 50-1 (10-9) Keen hold in rear, weakened 4 out, soon eased, pulled up before next, in a race won by Whisper (10-12) at Ffos Las 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Dec, 8 ran.