Champagne West was a smooth winner of an Irish point in November and now has his first run for Philip Hobbs. The market should reflect expectations and he is obviously one to take extremely seriously. However, MONKEY KINGDOM sets a fair standard here and the King's Theatre gelding has experience very much on his side after three bumper outings. He showed plenty of ability on his first two outings before seemingly having his limitations exposed in Listed grade at Cheltenham. This drop in class should serve him well and he gets the vote despite this being his first run of 2013. The market is likely to be the best indicator of confidence in the newcomers, of which Rouquine Sauvage and Dunmallet Belle make most appeal on paper.
Monkey Kingdom 11-2 (10-8) Tracked leading pair, lost place 3f out, ridden and weakened over 1f out, 7th of 11, 37l behind Anonis (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m NH flat Listed (1) sft in Nov.
Champagne West (IRE) 15-8 (11-7) Alw pr, went on with runner up 2out, qcknd well last, rcd green, won at Loughanmore 3m ire ptp hvy in Nov beating Sea Bear (11-7) by 12l, 9 ran.
G'dai Sydney Choisir horse out of Silly Mid-on.
Oscars Way (IRE) 9-4 (11-4) in a race won by Nelson's Legend (12-0) at Dingley 2m 4f ptp gs in May, 11 ran.
Tiger Maroon 20-1 (10-11) In touch, closed 10f out, lost place 6f out, tailed off, 6th of 8, well behind Bally Rone (10-11) at Ffos Las 2m NH flat (6) hvy in Feb.
Rouquine Sauvage Loup Sauvage mare out of No Need For Alarm.
Dunmallet Belle Kayf Tara filly out of Magic Mistress.