REGAL ENCORE was a very smart bumper horse last season and, after a pipe-opener at Aintree, got off the mark over hurdles at the second time of asking at Plumpton. He's travelled a long way for this and should take home the spoils with McCoy doing the steering. Our Boy Ben and Tikkandemickey both won over course and distance on the same day three weeks ago. The former should again beat Lord Brendy and, only a four-year-old, probably has more scope than Raymond Sheils' charge. Champagne Agent and Uppercut De L'orne have ability but both need to improve on what they've shown so far this season.
Our Boy Ben 5-1 (10-12) Held up in touch on outside, tracked leading pair before 2 out, went 2nd between last 2, led before last, driven clear flat, won at Hexham 2m NH nov hdl 4-6yo (4) hvy in Nov beating Lord Brendy (10-12) by 4l, 7 ran.
Regal Encore (IRE) 1-9fav (10-12) Held up in rear, closer order towards rear approaching 2nd, smooth headway 6th, tracked clear leader before 3 out, closed before next, led on bit last, hard held, won at Plumpton 2m nh nov hdl (4) gs in Nov beating Saffron Prince (10-12) by 1 3/4l, 10 ran.
Tikkandemickey (IRE) 11-1 (11-1) Mid-division, lost place and dropped towards rear 4th, headway under pressure before 2 out, stayed on to challenge when went left last, ridden to lead flat, clear when hung left final 110 yards, won at Hexham 2m hcp hdl 0-120 (4) hvy in Nov beating Walser (11-12) by 7l, 10 ran.
Allez Cool (IRE) 50-1 (10-5) Tracked leaders, lost place and dropped towards rear 4th, chased leaders under pressure before 2 out, went moderate 3rd before last, no chance with front pair, 3rd of 7, 13l behind Our Boy Ben (10-12) at Hexham 2m NH nov hdl 4-6yo (4) hvy in Nov.
Champagne Agent (IRE) 16-1 (11-3) Mid-division, chased leaders and mistake 4 out, headway before 5 out, weakened from next, last of 8, 46l behind Definite Dream (10-10) at Carlisle 2m nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft in Oct.
Here's To Harry 50-1 (11-0) Held up in mid-division, not fluent 1st, mistake 7th, well beaten 3 out, tailed off, 11th of 13, well behind Jumbo John (11-0) at Perth 2m 4f mdn hdl (5) gd in May.
Lord Brendy 14-1 (10-12) Tracked leaders on outside, went 2nd 3 out, challenged next, led between last 2, headed before last, kept on same pace, no impression with winner in clear 2nd flat, 2nd of 7, 4l behind Our Boy Ben (10-12) at Hexham 2m NH nov hdl 4-6yo (4) hvy in Nov.
Marine Band Bandmaster gelding out of Darakah.
Marlee Massie (IRE) 150-1 (10-12) In rear and mistakes, never dangerous, 8th of 9, well behind Kilbree Chief (10-5) at Hexham 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Nov.
Quick Brew 33-1 (10-6) Held up in rear, headway when blundered 4th, 2nd when hit 2 out, no impression on winner, weakened last, 5th of 11, 21l behind Heath Hunter (10-6) at Sedgefield 2m 4f 4yo nov stks (4) sft in Nov.
Seeyouatmidnight 3-1 (12-0) Ld/disp, ld 4out, hdd bef last, fought back to ld early flat, all out nr fin, won at Dromahane 3m ire ptp gd in Apr beating Forget And Forgive (12-0) by 1/2l, 15 ran.
Uppercut De L'orne (FR) 12-1 (10-4) Tracked leaders, lost place after 3rd, not fluent next, ridden and beaten after 3 out, weakened before 2 out, 7th of 11, 45l behind Heath Hunter (10-6) at Sedgefield 2m 4f 4yo nov stks (4) sft in Nov.
Whinstone Dani (IRE) 25-1 (11-12) Mid-division, closer in 6th 4 out, ridden in 5th 2 out, soon no extra, 8th of 20, 21l behind Oscars Joy (11-12) at Fairyhouse 2m 4f mdn hdl hvy in Dec '12.