IN CLOSE is selected here ahead of Fishoutofwater and Romulus D'Artaix. John O' Shea's charge was a Limerick bumper winner on his sole start in Ireland, and has since left the James Leavy yard. Irish bumper form tends to stand up very well in these sorts of races and with soft ground evidently no problem he should run well despite his 7lb penalty. Fairview Sue also has a penalty to carry after she was successful at Southwell, whilst Romulus D'Artaix went close at Cheltenham on debut. That run behind Tetlami looks very solid and it would be a surprise were this four-year-old not to go close. Mudita Moment looks the best of the others to have raced, however the more eminent dangers may be the newcomers. The market should help guide to the chance of Joker Choker, Calico Rose and Father Probus, however the debutant that really catches the eye is Fishoutofwater. Rebecca Curtis has a good strike-rate in bumpers and this son of Old Vic is related to several winners. The market should be a helpful guide in this finale, however we will stick with the proven form of In Close.
In Close (USA) 10-3 (11-6) Led and clear, narrowly headed from before straight, soon ridden, led again final furlong, stayed on well, eased near finish, won at Limerick 2m N H flat hvy in Dec beating Greenhill Millie (10-13) by 3/4l, 11 ran.
Be Mi Maite Komaite gelding out of Miss Bananas.
Fairview Sue 7-1 (11-4) Disputed 2nd, led 4f out, clear over 1f out, easily, won at Southwell 2m Mares Nat Hunt Flat (AWT) (4-6yo) (4) std in Feb beating Cinderella Rose (10-1) by 3 1/2l, 8 ran.
Fishoutofwater (IRE) Old Vic gelding out of Frost Bound.
Joker Choker (IRE) Oscar gelding out of Stormy Lady.
Mudita Moment (IRE) 66-1 (10-13) Held up, in rear, steady headway from 4f out, shaken up over 1f out, kept on into 3rd towards finish, never near front pair, 3rd of 17, 6l behind Prince Of Pirates (11-1) at Kempton 2m mdn NH flat (6) gs in Feb.
Rose Of The Moon (IRE) Moonax gelding out of Little Rose.
Boosha 20-1 (10-8) Held up mid-division, chased leaders 5f out, no impression 2f out, 5th of 12, 23l behind Highland Valley (11-4) at Wincanton 2m NH flat (6) hvy in Feb.
Calico Rose Karinga Bay mare out of Sprig Muslin.
Hennerwood Beech Sly mare out of Mother Goose.
Silver Monet 28-1 (10-6) Held up in rear, headway 6f out, struggling 4f out, 9th of 15, 37l behind Any The Wiser (10-11) at Uttoxeter 2m cond & am NH flat (6) gd in Oct.
Deed Poll 40-1 (10-7) Behind final 6f, tailed off, 8th of 13, well behind Dragon's Roost (11-4) at Newbury 2m NH flat (6) sft in Jan.
Father Probus Fleetwood colt out of Nearly At Sea.
Keckerrockernixes (IRE) 16-1 (10-12) Towards rear, some headway on outside over 2f out, soon ridden and weakened, 7th of 14, 10l behind Behindcloseddoors (10-12) at Lingfield 1m 5f 3yo nhf (6) hvy in Nov.
Romulus D'artaix (FR) 6-1 (10-12) Mid-division, headway over 5f out, slightly outpaced over 2f out, stayed on from over 1f out, went 2nd near finish, no chance with winner, 2nd of 15, 4l behind Tetlami (11-2) at Cheltenham 1m 6f 4yo NH flat (Listed) (1) sft in Jan.
Swift Research 150-1 (9-12) Chased leaders, pushed along 3f out, soon weakened, 10th of 14, 18l behind Tiger Bay (11-4) at Lingfield 2m mdn nat hunt flt (4-6yo) (6) std in Feb.