A low-key opener in which few arrive in form. Ripoff is a possible exception following a second at Chepstow while Midnight Lira was third over a longer trip at Taunton and Home Run filled the same position behind Changing The Guard at Newton Abbot in September. FRECKLE FACE should be approaching peak fitness now and looks to have every chance on his form in better company around this time last year. Bill Turner's maiden gets a tentative vote but this type of race often produces a shock result.
Ripoff 14-1 (11-2) Took keen hold, chased leaders, went 3rd traveling well approaching 4 out, stayed on to 2nd approaching last, finished well but unable to reach winner, 2nd of 8, 2 3/4l behind Bravo Bravo (11-7) at Chepstow 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-95 (5) sft in Nov.
Freckle Face 28-1 (10-12) Tracked leader, ridden and weakened before 3 out where not fluent, 7th of 14, 35l behind Hold Court (10-12) at Ludlow 2m nh nov hdl (4) gd in Oct.
Kilrye (IRE) 14-1 (10-13) Held up mid-division, pushed along after 5th, weakened before 3 out, 12th of 15, well behind Dormouse (11-8) at Taunton 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gd in Nov.
Gizzit (IRE) 9-1 (11-6) Held up in rear, not fluent 3 out, headway before next, weakened approaching last, 5th of 17, 26l behind Tresor De Bontee (11-4) at Hereford 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-100 (5) gs in Nov.
Midnight Lira 10-1 (10-13) Tracked leaders, led 8th, ridden and headed 2 out, kept on same pace, 3rd of 16, 8l behind Typhon De Guye (11-3) at Taunton 3m hcp hdl 0-100 (5) gd in Nov.
Uimhir A Seacht (IRE) 100-1 (10-5) Prominent, not fluent 2nd or 3rd, weakened before 2 out, 12th of 14, well behind Kings Lad (10-12) at Wincanton 2m NH nov hdl 4-6yo (3) gs in Nov.
Home Run (GER) 12-1 (10-0) Held up towards rear, headway to 4th at 5th, went 3rd before 2 out, kept on same pace and no chance with leading duo, 3rd of 10, 11l behind Changing The Guard (11-12) at Newton Abbot 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gd in Sep.
Xaarcet (IRE) 33-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders, took keen hold, lost place before 5th, no impression after, 8th of 12, 21l behind Pendra (11-0) at Plumpton 2m mdn hdl (5) sft in Nov.
Generalise 100-1 (11-0) Mid-division, pushed along after 2nd, soon lost place, behind when blundered 4 out, tailed off, 9th of 11, 44l behind Orabora (11-0) at Chepstow 2m NH mdn hdl (5) sft in Nov.
Saffron Star 150-1 (10-5) Mid-division, driven 4 out, kept on same pace from next, no chance with leaders, 7th of 14, 48l behind Mr Mole (10-12) at Exeter 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) gs in Oct.
Jawahal Du Mathan (FR) 18-1 (10-13) Mistake 1st, tracked leaders, outpaced 4 out, soon weakened, tailed off 2 out, 7th of 10, well behind Lean Burn (11-0) at Bangor 2m 1f hcp hdl (5) gs in Nov.
By Command 40-1 (10-8) Held up mid-division, pushed along before 3 out, soon weakened, eased heavily after last, last of 9, well behind Lean Burn (10-4) at Uttoxeter 2m hcp hdl 0-100 (5) sft in Nov.