DUKE OF NAVAN won this 12 months ago and his two runs this term have been in Grade 1 company. Nicky Richards' charge is a very useful performer on his day and is fancied to stage a repeat as this year's renewal lacks the star quality of previous contests. The mare Doyly Carte is a possible danger as she ran well for a long way behind Annie Power in a Grade 2 mares' race at Doncaster last time and hold Runswick Royal on earlier Haydock running, though Special Catch is an improving handicapper who is worth a try at this level. Upsilon Bleu has been chasing and Bygones Of Brid looks to be well out of his depth.
Duke Of Navan (IRE) 50-1 (11-7) Led until 3 out, weakened before next, modest 4th, 4th of 6, 35l behind My Tent Or Yours (11-7) at Kempton 2m hdl G1 (1) sft in Dec.
Bygones of Brid (IRE) 5-1 (11-6) With leader, ridden and weakened run-in, 4th of 7, 13l behind Ubaltique (11-12) at Catterick 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) sft in Jan.
Runswick Royal (IRE) 6-1 (10-8) Chased leaders on outside, not fluent 2nd, fell 4th, in a race won by Clever Cookie (10-0) at Musselburgh 2m hcp hdl (2) sft, 10 ran.
Special Catch (IRE) 11-8fav (10-12) Chased leaders, led after 2 out, stayed on well, won at Haydock 2m 4f hcp hdl (2) sft in Dec beating Art Professor (10-13) by 2l, 5 ran.
Upsilon Bleu (FR) 4-1 (10-8) Prominent, went 3rd before 6 out, led 3 out, headed before last, kept on same pace, 2nd of 8, 1 1/2l behind Simply Ned (10-11) at Doncaster 2m hcp chs (2) gs in Jan.
Doyly Carte 16-1 (11-5) Tracked winner, ridden and one pace and no impression on winner after 2 out, 2nd of 5, 15l behind Annie Power (11-5) at Doncaster 2m hdl G2 (1) gs in Jan.