ETXALAR is surely good enough to win a race like this off his current mark. Two of his three victories have come at this track and his stamina will be an asset on the soft ground. Tresor De L'Isle was beaten when falling at Wetherby last time and looks high enough in the weights at present but the maiden Indian Voyage returns from a break and Lukey Luke is a bigger danger on his latest third over 3m at Doncaster. The others have a lot to prove at present.
Fred Bojangals (IRE) 40-1 (10-2) In rear and keen, pushed along before 4 out, soon weakened, 7th of 9, 27l behind Travis County (11-3) at Sedgefield 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gs.
Etxalar (FR) 10-3 (11-12) Prominent in 4th, outpaced before 3 out, kept on same pace from 2 out, no impression, 3rd of 9, 26l behind Snuker (10-0) at Carlisle 3m 2f hcp chs 0-105 (4) hvy in Nov.
Lukey Luke 14-1 (10-13) Held up, not fluent 2nd, closed on inside 11th, went 3rd before 4 out, pecked and every chance last, no extra final 75 yards, 3rd of 6, 4 1/2l behind Clondaw Flicka (11-5) at Doncaster 3m nov hcp chs 0-110 (4) gd in Nov.
Tresor De L'isle (FR) 7-2 (11-3) Tracked leader, weakened after 5 out, soon in rear, fell 4 out, in a race won by Badger Foot (10-12) at Wetherby 2m 4f hcp chs 0-105 (4) gs in Nov, 8 ran.
Indian Voyage (IRE) 7-1 (10-12) Chased leaders in 4th, outpaced 4 out, left moderate 2nd after 2 out, no chance with winner, 2nd of 8, 28l behind Bygones Of Brid (10-12) at Hexham 2m 4f nov chs (4) gf in Jun.
Soul Angel 33-1 (10-7) In touch, headway to lead narrowly 12th, not fluent 5 out, headed approaching next, soon ridden, no chance with front pair before 2 out, lost 2 places near finish, 5th of 13, 17l behind Presented (11-9) at Newcastle 3m hcp 0-100 (5) gd in Nov.
Panthers Run 18-1 (9-11) Led, headed 2 out, ridden before last, no extra and lost 2nd place run-in, 3rd of 7, 3l behind Have You Had Yours (9-11) at Hexham 2m hcp chs 0-95 (5) sft in Nov.