A very interesting finale can go to the unexposed MELODIC RENDEZVOUS, who may have come against a smart prospect when beaten on his hurdles bow at Exeter and gets 6lb here from the well-regarded Eduard and Southwell winner Imperial Leader. Valdez also has a penalty after getting off the mark at Huntingdon while this looks a big ask for ex-pointer Royal Boy following a lengthy absence. Mr Watson should improve on his fourth at Market Rasen, however, and Village Vic is probably better than he showed here last time though you'd expect a few of these to have more speed than Philip Hobbs' charge over this trip.
Eduard (IRE) 11-10fav (10-12) Tracked leader, led 4 out, clear before 2 out, easily, won at Newcastle 2m nh nov hdl (4) gs in Nov beating King Of The Wolds (10-12) by 18l, 16 ran.
Imperial Leader (IRE) 9-2 (10-12) Held up in touch, headway to 3rd before 2 out, ridden to lead before went left and hit last, stayed on well, driven out, won at Southwell 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) gs in Nov beating Ballyalton (10-12) by 3l, 9 ran.
Valdez 4-5fav (10-12) In touch, headway to track leader 5th, led before 3 out, ridden and ran on flat, won at Huntingdon 2m nh nov hdl (4) sft in Nov beating Softsong (10-12) by 3l, 13 ran.
Dr Dreamy (IRE) 80-1 (10-11) Held up behind, headway after 3 out, weakened before 2 out, jumped badly left last, 9th of 12, well behind Gas Line Boy (11-0) at Wincanton 2m 6f mdn hdl (4) gs in Oct.
Melodic Rendezvous 6-5fav (10-12) Tracked leaders, effort approaching 3 out, switched outside approaching next, every chance when bumped and carried left last, not pace of winner and held flat, 2nd of 14, 1 1/2l behind Mr Mole (10-12) at Exeter 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) gs in Oct.
Mr Watson (IRE) 6-4fav (10-12) Took keen hold in touch, improved to track leaders 4th, ridden approaching last, found nil, plugged on, 4th of 8, 7l behind Barrakilla (10-12) at Market Rasen 2m 3f nh nov hdl (4) gs in Nov.
Royal Boy (FR) 7-4 (11-7) Rcd 2nd/3rd, ld 3out, jnd 2out, ld bef last, rallied best, won at Rathmorrissey 3m ire ptp gd in Mar '11 beating Balinroab (11-7) by 1l, 12 ran.
Village Vic (IRE) 15-8fav (11-0) Held up mid-division, took keen hold and tracked winner after 3rd, lost place 2 out, soon driven and outpaced, no impression approaching last, 5th of 9, 14l behind Coneygree (11-4) at Cheltenham 2m 5f nh nov hdl (1) sft in Nov.