Edmaaj was a big disappointment when only third on his debut under NH Rules at Fakenham, finishing more than 40 lengths behind winner Ubaldo Des Menhies. Even though the latter now has a penalty to carry, the Jonjo O'Neill gelding has a mountain to climb if he's to reverse the form. PINE CREEK needed the run when only third on his hurdles bow at Folkestone but put that experience to good use when justifying favouritism at Leicester last month and only needs to find a little more to follow up here. Las Verglas Star won four times on the Flat and did a little better last time at Catterick. His future probably lies in handicaps, however, while another Flat winner Hot Spice makes his debut over hurdles.
Pine Creek 6-5fav (11-5) Tracked leaders, raced keenly, not fluent 3rd, went 2nd when mistake 3 out, challenged going strongly next, hit last, led towards finish, very cheekily, won at Leicester 2m nh nov hdl (4) sft in Jan beating Irish Buccaneer (11-5) by hd, 12 ran.
Ubaldo Des Menhies (FR) 15-2 (11-5) Made all, hit 2nd, drew clear after 2 out, unchallenged, easily (3 hurdles ommited), won at Fakenham 2m mdn hdl (5) sft in Jan beating Riddlestown (11-5) by 41l, 6 ran.
Abbey Garth (IRE) 9-1 (10-13) Held up towards rear of mid-division, some headway 3 out, weakened before next, tailed off, 13th of 16, well behind Johns Spirit (11-5) at Market Rasen 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Apr.
Arabian Heights 5-1 (11-5) Held up towards rear, headway approaching 5th, ridden and weakened before 2 out, 10th of 11, 43l behind Whispering Gallery (11-5) at Leicester 2m nh nov hdl (4) sft in Jan.
Bluegrass Bid (USA) 80-1 (11-5) Raced wide, took keen hold towards rear, struggling 6th, disputing poor 6th when mistake 2 out, 6th of 12, 34l behind Valdez (11-11) at Plumpton 2m nh nov hdl (4) sft in Jan.
Brassbound (USA) 10-1 (10-12) Keen, chased leaders, mistake 5th, weakened approaching 4 out, behind and pulled up before next, in a race won by Bucking The Trend (11-5) at Leicester 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Dec, 7 ran.
Chippy 200-1 (10-8) Always towards rear, tailed off, 13th of 14, well behind Abergavenny (11-4) at Southwell 2m n h flat (6) std in Feb '12.
Dontgoeasy 200-1 (10-9) Towards rear, pushed along and weakened before 5 out, tailed off and pulled up before 3 out, in a race won by Up And Go (11-2) at Wetherby 2m 4f NH nov hdl (4-7yo) (4) sft in Jan, 17 ran.
Edmaaj (IRE) 3-1 (11-5) Tracked leaders, mistake 2nd, under pressure 3 out, soon outpaced, stayed on after last, never able to challenge, 3rd of 6, 42l behind Ubaldo Des Menhies (11-5) at Fakenham 2m mdn hdl (5) sft in Jan.
Haljaferia (UAE) 66-1 (10-12) Held up mid-division, weakened before 4 out, 8th of 10, well behind Midnight Oscar (10-12) at Doncaster 3m nh nov hdl (4) gs in Dec.
Hot Spice 25-1 (9-6) In rear, pushed along over 3f out, kept on from over 1f out, no impression, 9th of 16, 8l behind Scottish Boogie (9-4) at Windsor 1m 4f hcp 0-80 (4) sft in Oct (flat).
Las Verglas Star (IRE) 16-1 (11-5) Held up mid-division, headway 3 out, soon chased leaders, kept on from last, 4th of 16, 12l behind Only Orsenfoolsies (10-0) at Catterick 2m nh nov hdl (4) sft in Jan.
My Mate Jake (IRE) 16-1 (11-5) Tracked leaders, weakened before 2 out, 5th of 16, 22l behind Only Orsenfoolsies (10-0) at Catterick 2m nh nov hdl (4) sft in Jan.
One For Hocky (IRE) 8-1 (11-4) Held up well in rear, never involved, tailed off, 9th of 11, well behind Veloce (11-4) at Ayr 2m nh nov hdl (4) sft in Jan.
Pass Muster 40-1 (11-5) Held up in touch in mid-division, took keen hold, headway after 5th, weakened 2 out, 10th of 13, well behind Duke Of Navan (11-12) at Kelso 2m nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Jan.
What A Good Night (IRE) 33-1 (11-5) Held up towards rear, headway approaching 3 out, weakened next, 6th of 11, 24l behind Whispering Gallery (11-5) at Leicester 2m nh nov hdl (4) sft in Jan.
Favorite Girl (GER) 22-1 (10-13) Mid-division, ridden over 3f out, weakened over 2f out, 9th of 12, 15l behind Adiynara (11-2) at Wolverhampton 2m Mares Nat Hunt Flat (4yo+) (AWT) (4) std in Jan.