DIOCLES' bumper win at Southwell a year ago has worked out quite well and he ran well in the face of a stiff task at Haydock yesterday. A penalty proved too much to overcome on his reappearance at Haydock but the five-year-old should thrive now tackling hurdles and is less exposed than stablemate and recent Uttoxeter runner-up Jackson Cage. Highrate was third over C&D last time and may be best of the rest, though Master Act has shown some promise and Acordingtoscript was second in an Irish point-to-point in October.
Acordingtoscript (IRE) Accordion gelding out of Jane Jones.
Diocles (IRE) 13-8fav (11-7) Raced keenly, prominent, led over 3f out, ridden 2f out, soon hard pressed, kept on until headed and no extra final 75 yards, lost 2nd towards finish, 3rd of 9, 2l behind Benign Dictator (11-0) at Haydock 2m NH flat (4) gs in Nov.
Highrate (IRE) 15-2 (10-9) Chased leader until after 3rd, went 2nd again next, outpaced when lost 2nd before 3 out, switched left between last 2, rallied to 3rd flat, 3rd of 13, 5l behind Nowurhurlin (10-9) at Carlisle 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Nov.
Jackson Cage (IRE) 13-2 (10-9) Tracked leaders, ridden approaching 3 out, went 2nd last, no impression on winner, 2nd of 16, 5l behind Poole Master (10-9) at Uttoxeter 2m NH mdn hdl (5) gs in Nov.
Master Act (IRE) 50-1 (10-9) Mid-division, outpaced 3 out, ridden after next, kept on flat, no impression, 5th of 13, 13l behind Eurohunter (10-12) at Kelso 2m nh nov hdl (4) sft.
Roman Sioux (IRE) 14-1 (8-2) Took keen hold towards rear, pushed along over 3f out, some late headway, never dangerous, 6th of 11, 10l behind Eastern Hills (9-0) at Beverley 1m app stks (6) gd in Sep '10 (flat).
Rupert Bear 100-1 (10-7) In rear, never dangerous, 6th of 12, 35l behind Malt Master (11-0) at Newcastle 2m NH Maiden Hurdle (4-6yo) (5) gs in Nov.
Oscar Baby (IRE) 16-1 (10-5) Held up towards rear, ridden over 4f out, weakened over 1f out, 6th of 18, 24l behind Call Me A Star (10-12) at Wetherby 2m mares n h flat (6) gs in Nov.