Gulf Punch was put up 9lb after winning at Musselburgh last month and both victories so far have come at a lower level. As a four-year-old, he has a lot of weight to carry on this ground and may find the task beyond him. Rangefinder has disappointed over hurdles so far while Long Distance's sole victory so far came on fast ground over a shorter trip and he hasn't raced since July. Ebony River is a possible improver but BOLLIN FIONA is likely to handle these conditions better than most and, 2lb lower than when successful over C&D in March last year, gets the vote.
Gulf Punch 11-4fav (11-9) Tracked leader, led 2 out, stayed on well to draw clear final 100 yards, won at Musselburgh 3m hcp hdl 0-100 (5) gd in Nov beating Via Archimede (10-4) by 8l, 8 ran.
Ebony River (IRE) 9-2 (11-3) Tracked leaders, hit 3 out, 3rd and beaten when blundered next, mistake and weakend last, 4th of 12, 18l behind Trafalgar (11-1) at Uttoxeter 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gs in Nov.
Rangefinder 25-1 (10-12) In rear, mistakes, ridden and weakened approaching 3 out, tailed off, 4th of 5, dis behind Manger Hanagment (11-4) at Perth 3m nh nov hdl (4) gs in Sep.
Long Distance (FR) 9-1 (11-2) Tracked leaders, ridden before last, kept on run-in, 4th of 10, 2 1/2l behind With Grace (10-13) at Perth 2m hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gf in Jul.
Bollin Fiona 11-2 (11-5) Chased leadrs, hit 6th, pushed along before next, weakened approaching 2 out, 5th of 16, 12l behind Crackerjac Boy (9-7) at Carlisle 2m 4f 4yo Am hcp 0-100 (5) sft in Nov.
Bunratty (IRE) 200-1 (10-7) Took keen hold towards rear, struggling when mistake 6th, tailed off and eased before 3 out, 10th of 12, well behind See What Happens (10-12) at Carlisle 2m 4f NH nov hdl 4-6yo (4) sft in Nov.
Artic Night (FR) 14-1 (10-1) In touch, mistake 9th, ridden and outpaced before 3 out, weakened from next, 9th of 14, 39l behind Gormanstown Cuckoo (11-11) at Aintree 3m nov hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gd in Oct.