A race that won't live long in the memory can go to OSCAR CLOSE ahead of Mohanad in what looks a very poor match. Our selection has his first run for George Baker having plied his trade over timber when trained in Ireland. He's shown a liking for cut in the ground and should go close with stamina likely to be at a premium here; he's bred to make a staying chaser, so if this does turn tactical then it's possible his lack of a turn of foot would prove his downfall. For that reason stakes are best kept small, but the opposition doesn't exactly strike fear into our hearts. Mohanad is rated 62 following a string of solid displays and to be fair Sheena West's horse has at least won a race over hurdles. However, he seems to enjoy better ground than this and has had plenty of chances on the level, so we're prepared to give the vote to Oscar Close instead. Frankie Falco has shown nothing in bumpers but Bristol Delauriere has shown even less so the former may win what should be a private battle for third, with Mohanad and Oscar Close likely to pull a good way clear of their two rivals. Our preference is for the last-named in a race that doesn't inspire.
Bristol Delauriere (FR) 250-1 (9-7) Slowly into stride, always in rear, ridden and weakened from 3f out, 10th of 12, 32l behind Vulcanite (8-5) at Lingfield 1m 4f mdn stks (5) pol in Mar.
Oscar Close (IRE) 8-1 (11-7) Always prominent, 3rd from 3 out, soon no impression, went moderate 2nd and kept on same pace from last, 2nd of 14, 22l behind Whodoyouthink (11-7) at Leopardstown 2m 2f 4yo mdn hdl in Dec.
Frankie Falco 66-1 (9-3) Dwelt, always behind, tailed off, last of 5, 41l behind Lava Steps (9-3) at Southwell 1m 4f mdn stks (5) fbs in Dec.
Mohanad (IRE) 22-1 (9-3) Mid-division, ridden over 2f out, no headway, 6th of 9, 6l behind Drop The Hammer (8-7) at Haydock 1m 6f hcp 0-70 (5) gd in Jul.