LAZY DARREN can spring a surprise though it would be no surprise to see Freeloader, Indian Blood and Pascha Bere go close. Chris Grant's charge has proved a useful sort in the North and while he had no chance against Binocular at Haydock Park, this looks a much more realistic assignment and on the proviso that the going stays sound, he has a feasible chance at the likely odds. Freeloader ran his best race for some time at Wetherby and while having to give weight away on this occasion, he has come down the handicap. Indian Blood has to be respected on handicap debut having attracted plenty of interest in dispatches from the stable. Pascha Bere has yet to fulfil the promise of last season but his yard are in much better form of late. Harry Tricker represents a yard that have done well in big handicaps this term. Ingratitude looks weighting to his best at the moment though cannot be eliminated easily in a competitive race. Ellerslie Tom has dropped down the weights after a series of modest efforts. Inthejungle is noted in the market in cheekpieces for the first time. Cnoc Moy was hammered by the handicapper for a good win at Wincanton last March and will need to bounce back from two moderate runs this season. Plenty of these having obvious formbook claims but for the winner, we return to Lazy Darren.
Freeloader (IRE) 33-1 (11-7) Chased leaders, led approaching 3 out, headed flat, no extra, 2nd of 11, 1 1/2l behind European Dream (11-4) at Wetherby 2m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gs in Nov.
Ellerslie Tom 12-1 (11-12) Led, headed approaching 2 out, soon weakened, 6th of 10, 15l behind Cedrus Libani (11-12) at Haydock 2m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gf in Nov.
Lazy Darren 14-1 (10-12) Tracked leaders, challenged 2 out, soon ridden, one pace, 4th of 5, 8l behind Binocular (11-6) at Haydock 2m 4yo hdl (2) gd in Nov.
Pascha Bere (FR) 7-1 (11-4) Tracked leaders, ridden to lead approaching 2 out, headed last, no extra flat, 3rd of 13, 3 1/2l behind Oldrik (10-8) at Huntingdon 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gs.
Ingratitude (IRE) 5-1 (11-1) Held up mid-division, every chance approaching 2 out, no extra flat, 3rd of 10, 2 1/2l behind Cedrus Libani (11-12) at Haydock 2m hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gf in Nov.
Cnoc Moy (IRE) 25-1 (10-7) Behind, ridden and struggling 3 out, no chance when hit next, 9th of 14, 21l behind Art Professor (10-10) at Ascot 2m hcp hdl 0-140 (2) gd in Nov.
Harry Tricker 22-1 (10-7) Held up in mid-division, headway approaching 3 out, every chance 2 out, weakened before last, 6th of 14, 12l behind Helens Vision (10-7) at Newbury 2m lst hcp hdl (1) gs in Nov.
Gloucester 4-1fav (10-13) Towards rear, headway 2 out, ridden and one pace when mistake last, 8th of 17, 17l behind Culcabock (11-0) at Cheltenham 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs.
Troque (FR) (10-3) Always struggling, pulled up behind Royal Penny (10-1) at Auteuil 2m 2f hdl gs in Nov, 19 ran.
Inthejungle (IRE) (10-8) pulled up in race won by Popova (10-1) at Auteuil 2m 3f hdl hvy in Nov, 18 ran.
Tech Eagle (IRE) 16-1 (10-12) Keen, tracked leaders, mistake 7th, ridden and weakened after 3 out, last of 7, 24l behind Mister Benedictine (10-12) at Huntingdon 2m nov chs (4) gd in May.
Moon Mix (FR) 33-1 (10-9) Held up, behind, raced keenly, headway approaching 2 out, weakened flat, 5th of 10, 9l behind Mujamead (10-12) at Leicester 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd in Nov.
Equilibria (USA) 15-2 (11-4) Tracked leaders, went 2nd after 6th, ridden after 3 out, hit last, led flat, driven out, won at Fontwell 2m 2f hcp hdl 0-110 (4) gs beating Carly Bay (11-1) by 1 1/2l, 13 ran.
Histoire De Moeurs (FR) 40-1 (10-3) Tracked leaders, 2nd 10th, mistake 12th, weakening when mistake 3 out, 7th of 8, 38l behind Kia Kaha (11-1) at Ludlow 2m 4f beg chs (4) gs in Nov.
Indian Blood (IRE) 12-1 (10-12) Held up, headway after 6th, plugged on one pace, 7th of 18, 26l behind Show Winner (10-7) at Kempton 2m nov hdl (4) gs in Nov.
Mean Machine (IRE) 25-1 (11-3) Held up, headway and hung right 3 out, weakened approaching 2 out, 6th of 9, 21l behind Supsonic (10-5) at Leicester 2m sll hdl (5) sft.