Abnaki made Safran De Cotte work hard for victory at Leicester in January and, taking the form book literally, that gives him the edge over DE LA BECH on a line through Henry Daly's grey who beat the Philip Hobbs-trained novice by four lengths at Chepstow last month. However, the latter looks the more natural chaser and he is fancied to come out on top today with that run under his belt. Big News beat Storm Survivor over this trip at Ludlow and shouldn't be far away now connections have found his best trip but Velator only recently returned to action and may need more time. Alpancho and Terfel's Toscar are best watched until showing signs of a revival.
Abnaki (IRE) 12-1 (11-0) Led until stuttered into 3rd, prominent, not fluent 9th, ridden after 13th, switched right flat, every chance inside final 100 yards, held close home, 2nd of 6, 1/2l behind Safran De Cotte (10-11) at Leicester 2m 7f nov chs 0-125 (4) hvy in Jan.
Alpancho 16-1 (11-4) Mid-division, ridden before 2 out, never dangerous, 15th of 21, well behind Minella Forfitness (11-4) at Doncaster 2m 3f mdn hdl (5) gd in Feb.
Big News 10-3 (10-9) Held up in touch, went 2nd 12th, led 4 out, not fluent and headed 2 out, 3 lengths down when leader made mistake last, soon challenging again, led close home, won at Ludlow 3m nov chs 0-110 (4) sft in Feb beating Storm Survivor (11-0) by shd, 12 ran.
De La Bech 3-1 (10-11) Tracked leaders, ridden 5 out, headway to challenge next, ridden and every chance when not fluent last, no extra flat, 2nd of 7, 4l behind Safran De Cotte (10-11) at Chepstow 3m nov chs 0-125 (4) gs in Feb.
Terfel's Toscar (IRE) 5-1fav (11-3) Chased leaders until ridden and weakened quickly before 4 out, tailed off, 13th of 16, well behind Cinevator (11-7) at Taunton 3m hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gd in Oct.
Velator 14-1 (11-4) Held up in touch, led before 4 out, blundered 4 out, soon headed and weakened, 15th of 16, well behind Doctor Foxtrot (10-12) at Doncaster 3m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gd in Feb.