MEDIOLANUM looks capable of going one better than on his hurdling bow at Aintree on debut for the yard and this expensive purchase should be able to land this contest before being stepped up in trip. Great Esteem took a step forwards to win at Wincanton in first time cheekpieces but he now has a penalty to contend with in a stronger race so will need to continue to improve. Oddjob was well held in a bumper at this track but this half-brother to Ground Ball may prove to be more at home over obstacles and he's considered along with Whereveryougoigo who disappointed at Worcester but it's possible that his confidence was affected by a fall on his hurdling bow and he remains capable of better with the drop to the minimum in his favour.
Great Esteem (IRE) 8-1 (10-12) Pulled hard, settled last, good headway on inside before 2 out, led 2 out, wandered before last, not keen and head high when pressed after last, cajoled along and in command towards finish, won at Wincanton 2m nov hdl (4) gd in Oct beating Royale's Charter (10-12) by nk, 4 ran.
Grand Award 8-1 (11-11) Held up, always in rear, tailed off, 8th of 13, well behind Space Telescope (11-7) at Worcester 2m 4f cond nov hcp hdl 0-105 (4) gf in Jun.
Mediolanum (IRE) 3-1 (11-0) In touch, chased winner 3 out, switched right and effort approaching 2 out, ridden last, kept on under pressure, no impression towards finish, 2nd of 16, 3 1/2l behind Ballybriggan (11-0) at Aintree 2m mdn hdl (3) gs in Oct.
Naughtyatiz (IRE) 10-1 (10-7) Led until ridden 5f out, weakened over 3f out, tailed off, 6th of 10, well behind Whereveryougoigo (11-0) at Hereford 2m 1f mdn NH flat (6) gd in Sep.
Oddjob (IRE) 15-2 (11-4) Held up towards rear, headway 7f out, chased leaders over 5f out, one pace final 2f, 5th of 15, 25l behind Dare Me (11-11) at Ffos Las 2m NH flat (6) gs in Feb.
Whereveryougoigo (IRE) 5-1 (10-11) Held up towards rear, headway after 4th, went 2nd 7th, soon ridden, every chance 3 out, soon hung right, not fluent and weakened last, 5th of 13, 28l behind Spock (11-0) at Worcester 2m 4f mdn hdl (4) gd in Oct.
Bachley Gale 20-1 (10-5) Prominent, not fluent 2nd or 4th, weakened after 8th, tailed off, 6th of 11, well behind National Trust (11-4) at Ludlow 2m 5f sell hdl (5) gd in Oct.
Illysantachristina 100-1 (11-4) Towards rear, struggling after 6th, 10th of 15, well behind L'accordioniste (11-4) at Uttoxeter 2m Mares Maiden Hurdle (3yo+) (5) hvy in Oct.