SPANISH CONQUEST can take this prize at the expense of Forty Five and Stoop To Conquer. The selection looks exceedingly well handicapped at present and he could have won by far more than the official margin suggested on Tuesday. Rhys Flint's 5lb claim (if fully taken) will see him in receipt of over two stones from Forty Five. Jonjo O'Neill's charge has looked incredibly progressive in three recent hurdles contests. Rated just 88 in November, he is in off 125 this afternoon. Stoop To Conquer has a history of popping up at big prices. A recent pipe opener on the flat appears to have been highly significant in the light of this engagement. Mohayer fell when a well backed favourite for a contest at Kelso. Rapide Plaisir has to enter calculations if the ground dries. Nevsky Bridge was disqualified at Hexham after causing interference. She will find life tougher against this grade of opposition. Tampa Bay has ran over two miles on the flat so his below par show at Fakenham was a little surprising. Spanish Conquest has plenty to like off this rating and he is afforded the nomination.
Forty Five (IRE) 2-7fav (11-12) Patiently ridden in rear, smooth headway to track leaders after 7th, went 2nd after 3 out, led on bit approaching last, soon heavily eased flat, won at Fakenham 2m 4f nov hcp hdl (4) gs in Feb beating Gunnadoit (10-0) by 4l, 7 ran.
Mohayer (IRE) 9-4fav (11-7) Held up, still going well when fell 5 out in race won by Gringo (11-4) at Kelso 2m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) sft, 7 ran.
Rapide Plaisir (IRE) 11-1 (11-3) Chased leaders until fell at the 2nd in race won by Pepsyrock (11-0) at Newbury 2m 1f hcp chs 0-130 (3) gd in Feb, 8 ran.
Ormus 10-3 (10-8) Mid-division, smooth headway and every chance 2 out, led approaching last, soon ridden, headed and no extra flat, 2nd of 7, 3l behind Gringo (11-4) at Kelso 2m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) sft.
Stoop To Conquer 14-1 (10-7) Raced on inside, chased leaders, effort 3 out, ridden and weakened before next, 8th of 13, 27l behind Palomar (9-13) at Kempton 2m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gs in Dec '07.
Elaala (USA) 14-1 (10-13) Always towards rear, well behind when pulled up 3 out in race won by Viper (11-5) at Musselburgh 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-120 (3) gf in Dec, 15 ran.
Tampa Boy (IRE) 5-1 (10-13) Chased leader, ridden to lead 3 out, headed soon after 2 out, weakened over 1 out, 3rd of 7, 15l behind Joe Jo Star (11-8) at Fakenham 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gs.
Thunderwing (IRE) 40-1 (11-2) Led until headed 4 out, ridden and gradually weakened from next, 6th of 16, 26l behind Livvy Inn (10-2) at Kelso 2m nov hdl (4) sft in Feb.
Nevsky Bridge 15-2 (10-12) Held up in rear, steady headway between last 2, stayed on to lead towards finish, edged right near finish, held on, won at Hexham 2m cnd hcp hdl 0-110 (4) sft beating Zaffarella (10-4) by a ns. Later dsq to 2nd, 9 ran.
Spanish Conquest 7-2 (10-9) In touch, headway to chase leader 3 out, led before 2 out, kept on well flat, won at Kempton 2m cnd hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gd beating Sam Lord (11-9) by 2 1/2l, 10 ran.