A tricky race to conclude the card and it might be worth chancing CULCABOCK to win it for the north, while Doeslessthanme is another raider from that region with claims and both Classic Dream and Quartano are respected. The Lucinda Russell-trained selection has course and distance winning form to his name, admittedly from a mark 12lbs lower than today's. He acts well with cut and will find this a fair bit easier than the higher graded contests that he has been involved in of late. He looks sure to be very competitive and at a likely decent price is suggested. Doeslessthanme ran with credit behind the classy Edgbriar at Doncaster last time and should be suited by the drop in trip, though he is likely to want the ground to dry a bit to be seen to best effect. Conversely, Quartano scored twice over further on heavy ground earlier in the season and Warren Greatrex would welcome any further rain for his gelding, who will be better suited by today's company than when contesting the Grade 1 Challow at Newbury last time. Classic Dream takes a further step up in class in search of his hat-trick, so has a bit to prove, and the same applies to Mickmacmagoole. Takeroc goes well when fresh but is hard to win with and has plenty of racing weight and we prefer the claims of Culcabock.
Takeroc (FR) 22-1 (10-11) Held up, headway on inside 3 out, no extra from next, 7th of 14, 6l behind Noble Alan (10-5) at Ayr 2m hcp hdl Gr2 (1) gd in Apr.
Simarian (IRE) 10-1 (11-5) Took keen hold, soon led, hit 4th, ridden and headed approaching 3 out, unseated rider 2 out, in a race won by Royal Charm (11-7) at Exeter 2m 1f 4yo hcp hdl (2) hvy in Dec, 6 ran.
Secret Tune 9-1 (10-13) Prominent, mistake when weakening 5 out, 6th of 10, 43l behind I'm Delilah (10-6) at Doncaster 2m nov chs (3) gd in Dec.
Culcabock (IRE) 40-1 (11-0) Mid-division, weakened approaching 2 out, 10th of 15, 27l behind Khyber Kim (11-9) at Cheltenham 2m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) sft in Nov.
Aachen 7-1 (10-11) Chased leader until weakened 3 out, tailed off when pulled up approaching 2 out, in a race won by Micheal Flips (10-11) at Kempton 2m 5f hcp hdl (2) sft, 13 ran.
Stradbrook (IRE) 50-1 (11-0) Held up in mid-division , driven and lost place 7th, struggling after, tailed off 4 out, 7th of 12, well behind Fistral Beach (11-2) at Kempton 2m 4f hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft.
Oldrik (GER) 10-1 (10-7) In rear, headway bend approaching 2 out, soon went 3rd, ridden and every chance last, stayed on, 2nd of 12, 3/4l behind Zabeel Palace (10-3) at Ascot 2m hcp hdl 0-145 (2) gd in Nov.
Nortonthorpe Lad (IRE) 40-1 (11-8) Led to 2nd, remained prominent, pushed along approaching 6th, weakened after 3 out, 5th of 13, 24l behind Qozak (11-10) at Taunton 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) sft.
Tender Falcon 20-1 (11-12) Always towards rear, well behind when jumped right 3 out, tailed off, 7th of 13, 45l behind Qozak (11-10) at Taunton 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) sft.
Overstrand (IRE) 20-1 (9-10) In rear, pushed along 6th, soon struggling and pulled up 3 out, in a race won by Micheal Flips (10-11) at Kempton 2m 5f hcp hdl (2) sft, 13 ran.
Doeslessthanme (IRE) 15-8fav (11-0) Tracked leader, challenged 4 out, weakened after 3 out, 3rd of 6, 15l behind Edgbriar (10-11) at Doncaster 2m 3f beg chs (4) gd in Dec.
Quartano (GER) 20-1 (11-7) Held up in rear, hit 6th, headway approaching 3 out, ridden and weakening when hit 2 out, tailed off, 6th of 11, 26l behind Reve De Sivola (11-7) at Newbury 2m 5f Novice Hurdle (Grade 1) (4yo+) (1) hvy in Dec.
Mickmacmagoole (IRE) 2-1 (11-10) Held up in touch, improved 4th, joined leader 2 out, led on bit narrowly soon after, ridden last, ran on, won at Leicester 2m sll hdl (5) gd in Dec beating Elk Trail (11-10) by 8l, 6 ran.
Classic Dream (GER) 8-1 (10-11) Tracked leader, led approaching last, driven out, won at Exeter 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft in Dec beating Arctic Magic (11-2) by nk, 15 ran.
Aather (IRE) 2-1fav (11-3) Held up towards rear, smooth headway on outside soon after 3 out, challenged on bit 2 out, soon led, pushed along and kept on well flat, won at Ffos Las 2m hcp hdl 0-120 (3) gs in Dec beating Ocean Transit (11-2) by 1 3/4l, 10 ran.
Arctic Magic (IRE) 12-1 (11-2) Held up towards rear, headway 3 out, stayed on, took 2nd towards finish, 2nd of 15, nk behind Classic Dream (10-11) at Exeter 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft in Dec.
William Bonney (IRE) 10-1 (11-9) Close up, on inside, until slightly lost place 6th, some progress approaching 4 out, ridden and beaten before next, soon eased, tailed off, 7th of 10, well behind Green Belt Elite (11-7) at Wincanton 2m hcp chs 0-130 (3) sft in Dec.