Flora's Pride beat previous winner and today's rival Knight Valliant over C&D a fortnight ago. They're closely matched and hard to separate on that running and the vote goes instead to VALLEYOFMILAN. The latter is back in testing ground for the first time since finishing runner-up at Uttoxeter and Donald McCain's charge is fancied to handle today's underfoot conditions better than Helium. The latter will have come on for his comeback in much better company at Sandown while Fine Kingdom should run his usual solid race without being good enough.
Valleyofmilan (IRE) 11-4 (10-11) Led, ridden approaching 3 out, went left and headed next, kept on same pace, beaten when lost 3rd flat, 4th of 11, 17l behind Lord Wishes (11-0) at Musselburgh 2m 4f mdn hdl (5) gs in Dec.
Helium (FR) 66-1 (10-0) Always behind, 8th of 12, 22l behind Petit Robin (11-5) at Sandown 2m Listed hcp hdl (1) sft in Dec.
Flora's Pride 9-2 (11-4) Mid-division, headway to chase leaders approaching 4th, led before 2 out, strongly challenged when rider lost irons approaching last, soon recovered, stayed on strongly, won at Catterick 2m 3f am hcp hdl 0-100 (5) sft in Dec beating Knight Valliant (11-3) by 2 1/4l, 17 ran.
Knight Valliant 7-2fav (11-3) Held up in rear, headway 3 out, soon chasing leaders, every chance from 2 out, mistake last, no extra flat, 2nd of 17, 2 1/4l behind Flora's Pride (11-4) at Catterick 2m 3f am hcp hdl 0-100 (5) sft in Dec.
Fine Kingdom 5-4fav (10-12) Led to 2nd, pushed along before and blundered 4 out, soon reminders, weakened before 2 out, 3rd of 4, 33l behind Kealshore Again (10-12) at Hexham 2m 3yo mdn hdl (5) hvy in Nov.
Amir Pasha (UAE) 20-1 (11-1) In touch, weakened before 3 out, 14th of 17, 36l behind Flora's Pride (11-4) at Catterick 2m 3f am hcp hdl 0-100 (5) sft in Dec.
Nicene Creed 16-1 (11-12) Last pair, ridden and struggling when reminders after 5th, tailed off, 5th of 10, well behind Boomtown (10-6) at Folkestone 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-100 (5) hvy in Dec.