A good contest in prospect here and despite claims from Tocca Ferro, Phidippides and The Betchworth Kid, we will side with QUANTITATIVEEASING to maintain his unbeaten record. The Nicky Henderson-trained gelding has won all three starts to date with the minimum of fuss, and in the process has shown not only plenty of ability, but also that he handles soft ground. Officially he has just 2lbs in hand over The Betchworth Kid, but he looks to have plenty of scope for improvement and races as though this extra half mile or so won't pose any problems. The Betchworth Kid is another stepping up in trip after a win at Plumpton followed by a decent effort under a penalty at Taunton next time. Conditions will suit, and he too looks likely to stay this trip, so he is viewed as a threat. Tocca Ferro was resolute in winning at Southwell last month and 2m 5f looks ideal for Emma Lavelle's gelding, who also goes in these conditions and may represent a bit of value for those not wishing to go short. Phidippides is already proven over the trip after winning at Ludlow last time and he will definitely not be found wanting for stamina, which may be a positive for his pilot Paul Moloney in terms of tactics here. On No Not Harry is the best of the other trio, but the vote goes to Quantitativeeasing.
Phidippides (IRE) 5-2 (11-0) Held up, headway 3rd, not fluent 7th, led 3 out, clear last, easily, won at Ludlow 2m 5f hdl (3) gd in Nov beating Double Dash (11-0) by 7l, 7 ran.
Quantitativeeasing (IRE) 2-5fav (11-5) Chased leader to 2nd, prominent, going well when left close 2nd 2 out, led before last, pushed along and stayed on well run in, readily, won at Newbury 2m hdl (3) hvy in Dec beating Ashfield's Dream (11-5) by 6l, 10 ran.
The Betchworth Kid 15-8 (11-8) In touch, headway 3 out, led narrowly before next, headed last, ridden and rallied flat, just held, 2nd of 14, nk behind Tito Bustillo (11-4) at Taunton 2m 1f nh nov hdl (3) sft in Dec.
Tocca Ferro (FR) Evensfav (11-4) In touch, headway 3 out, led going well between last 2, driven and stayed on well flat, won at Southwell 2m nh nov hdl (4) gs in Jan beating Tanto Faz (11-4) by 1/2l, 14 ran.
Master Alfredo 18-1 (11-4) Prominent, weakened over 4f out, 8th of 12, 48l behind Another Kate (10-11) at Hereford 2m 1f NH flat (6) gd in Nov.
Oh No Not Harry (FR) 5-2 (11-4) Held up in rear, headway approaching 5th, challenged 3 out, led 2 out, soon headed, stayed on flat, 2nd of 11, 3/4l behind Dinarius (11-9) at Towcester 2m nh nov hdl (3) hvy in Jan.
Whaxaar (IRE) 11-2 (8-9) Held up in rear, took keen hold, struggling over 3f out, tailed off, last of 9, well behind Dani's Girl (9-7) at Kempton 2m hcp 0-75 (5) pol in Dec (flat).