Connections can't be blamed for trying to strike while the iron is hot with SMOKEY GEORGE. Kim Bailey's string continues in fine form and his six-year-old only carries a 7lb penalty for a 15-length win over 2m on heavy ground at Uttoxeter last Friday. He's preferred to Earl Of Thomond, though the latter may find this trip more to his liking after fading into fifth over 3m2f at Plumpton last time. Apache Chant has been keeping better company than this and could play a part, but Be My Light has looked very one-paced in her five runs to date over timber.
Apache Chant (USA) 25-1 (10-4) Held up towards rear, soon pushed along, never dangerous, 11th of 16, 40l behind Gold Reef (10-13) at Sandown 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-110 (3) gs in Nov.
Home She Goes (IRE) 13-2 (10-11) Tracked leader after 2nd, led after next, headed 3 out, weakened 2 out, 4th of 12, 14l behind Tom O'Tara (9-11) at Warwick 2m nov hcp hdl 0-110 (4) gs in Feb.
Be My Light (IRE) 3-1 (11-1) Tracked leaders and keen, chased winner after 3 out, soon ridden, no impression, 2nd of 5, 11l behind Lean Burn (10-11) at Market Rasen 2m 1f hcp hld 0-95 (5) gs in Nov.
Everyman 50-1 (11-0) In touch in mid-division, ridden and lost place after 6th, well beaten when mistake and hampered 3 out, tailed off, 7th of 14, well behind Monsieur Cadou (11-7) at Hereford 2m 4f nov hcp hdl 0-100 (4) gs in Nov.
Earl Of Thomond (IRE) 7-1 (11-4) Led until 4th, remained prominent, effort after 3 out, weakened next, 5th of 11, 16l behind Gentleman Jimmy (11-9) at Plumpton 3m 1f hcp hdl 0-95 (5) gs in Dec.
Smokey George 11-1 (10-10) Mid-division, headway on inside before 4 out, led before 2 out, clear before last, eased towards finish, won at Uttoxeter 2m hcp hdl (3yo+) (5) hvy in Dec beating Illysantachristina (10-11) by 15l, 14 ran.
Aboukir Bay (IRE) 200-1 (10-7) Mid-division, behind from after 3rd, soon struggling, tailed off when pulled up, in a race won by Dan Breen (11-0) at Bangor 2m 1f nov chs (4) gs in Dec, 9 ran.
Winter Holly 14-1 (10-13) Held up in rear, jumped slowly and pushed along 6th, headway next, hampered and stumbled on bend soon after, no impression after, went 3rd flat, 3rd of 8, 26l behind Little Carmela (11-12) at Leicester 2m 4f mares nov hcp hdl (4) sft in Nov.
Cloudy Dawn 12-1 (10-12) Tracked leaders, hit 7th, weakened after 3 out, 5th of 9, 42l behind Dowd's Destiny (10-12) at Market Rasen 2m 5f nh nov hdl (4) gd in Aug.