SAGALYRIQUE ran well in a much better race than this last time and gets the vote to go a couple of places better here; Winsley Hill may take second ahead of Michigan d'Isop. Alan King has generally had a season to forget but he's had a few winners this month and we think another awaits with this son of Sagacity, who won a reasonable contest at Taunton in December. That was off a mark of 110 and he's now 13lbs higher but that didn't stop the horse taking a solid third in a race that has worked out well last time, so he's the percentage call. Winsley Hill arrives in rude health and will give his all in bidding for the hat-trick. He is at his best when the ground is quick so looks set to have his conditions, but he's been off just short of six months and will need to be at his best to land this off a 5lb higher mark. Michigan d'Isop is fairly treated having gone well in a good race last time and his record here reads 3-1, so if the aforementioned pair aren't on their game he'll likely be there to pick up the pieces ahead of Flake who is a bit slow and needs it softer and Arnold Layne, a well treated horse but one that has been off for 18 months. A case of sorts can be made for all of these but none make more appeal than Sagalyrique.
Winsley Hill 9-2 (11-3) Chased leaders, mistakes 3rd and 11th, went 2nd 4 out, mistake 3 out, challenged last, slight lead flat, driven out, won at Fakenham 3m hcp chs 0-135 (3) gf in Oct beating Sprosser (10-7) by hd, 6 ran.
Sagalyrique (FR) 9-2fav (11-11) Held up towards rear, chased leaders from 5th, went 3rd after 4 out, one pace, 3rd of 10, 15l behind Salut Flo (11-2) at Doncaster 2m 3f hcp chs 0-125 (3) gd in Mar.
Arnold Layne (IRE) 10-1 (11-12) Tracked leader, weakened 11th, tailed off when pulled up before 4 out, in a race won by See You There (10-13) at Carlisle 3m 2f hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft in Nov '08, 12 ran.
Flake 33-1 (10-11) Mid-division, pushed along 6th, soon lost place, headway under pressure before 3 out, never troubled leaders, 7th of 15, 47l behind Mister Marker (10-6) at Newcastle 3m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) sft in Mar.
Michigan d'Isop (FR) 7-2 (10-8) Held up towards rear, hit 9th, closed 12th, 4th when jumped left 4 out, no impression, took 3rd towards finish, no chance with front pair, 3rd of 7, 18l behind Den of Iniquity (11-12) at Newbury 3m nov hcp chs 0-130 (3) gs in Mar.