The bottom four in the weights are all racing from out of the handicap but DRUMLANG is definitely on an upward curve and his victory over course and distance three weeks ago has worked out well. With Robert McCarth again claiming 5lb, he is fancied to take this step up in grade in his stride. Strongly Suggested's consistent run came to an end at Wetherby last month and he looks to be in the handicapper's grip now while novice Zarzal needs more but Oyster Shell should improve on a recent third here behind a subsequent winner while Suerte Al Salto won at Fontwell before finishing third at Newton Abbot. Pearls Legend could be one for the future but may need this and several of the others are also returning from a break. The enigmatic Christopher Wren scrambled home at Worcester last time but is 6lb higher here.
Strongly Suggested 5-1 (11-4) Held up towards rear, headway before 3 out, weakened before 2 out, 10th of 11, 37l behind Stormy Weather (10-11) at Wetherby 2m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs in Oct.
Zarzal (IRE) 12-1 (11-2) Held up 4th, mistake 4th, blundered 8th, went modest 3rd after 2 out, 3rd of 4, 26l behind Taquin Du Seuil (11-2) at Ffos Las 2m nov chs (4) hvy in Oct.
Oyster Shell 15-8 (11-2) Close 3rd, not fluent 4th, went 2nd 3 out, every chance after last, lost 2nd towards finish, no extra close home, 3rd of 4, 2 1/4l behind Be All Man (10-11) at Ludlow 2m nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) gd in Oct.
Suerte Al Salto (IRE) 14-1 (11-5) In rear, headway 3 out, went 3rd before 2 out, no extra last, 3rd of 7, 8l behind Notarfbad (11-4) at Newton Abbot 2m nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) gd in Oct.
Christopher Wren (USA) 5-2fav (11-4) Held up, headway 5th, not fluent 6th, mistake and reminder next, hanging left after 3 out, led narrowly 2 out, still hanging left last, beginning to come clear when jinked right to paddock gate flat, ridden out, won at Worcester 2m hcp chs 0-120 (4) sft in Oct beating Another Flutter (10-13) by 1 3/4l, 7 ran.
Kings Flagship 16-1 (11-5) Chased clear leader until after 3 out, chased leaders, ridden and weakened before last, 6th of 11, 6l behind Quaddick Lake (11-9) at Wincanton 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft in Dec.
Pearls Legend 9-1 (11-1) Held up in touch, weakened before 4 out, tailed off, 6th of 10, well behind Cry Of Freedom (11-4) at Taunton 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-140 (3) gf in May.
Bullet Street (IRE) 6-1 (11-12) Held up in rear, took keen hold, not fluent 3rd, headway approaching 3 out, no impression, jumped left and no extra next, 6th of 10, 16l behind Rime Avec Gentil (10-1) at Worcester 2m hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gd in May.
Santo Thomas (FR) 7-2 (11-12) Tracked leader, ridden to lead and not fluent 2 out, hit last, kept on, driven out, won at Towcester 2m hcp hdl 0-110 (4) sft in May '12 beating Martial Law (11-11) by 2 1/4l, 5 ran.
Mount Gunnery 5-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders, every chance 2 out, soon one pace, 3rd of 12, 8l behind Suerte Al Salto (11-0) at Wincanton 2m mdn hdl (5) sft in Apr.
Drumlang (IRE) 5-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders, took keen hold, jumped left 1st, slightly hampered and left 2nd on bend after 9th, closed before 4 out, led 3 out, hard pressed next, held on well, won at Ludlow 2m nov hcp chs 0-100 (5) gd in Oct beating Think Its All Over (10-13) by 1/2l, 10 ran.
Rocky Elsom (USA) 12-1 (11-10) Held up in touch, went 3rd 7th until ridden after 3 out, soon weakened, tailed off, 7th of 8, well behind Next Sensation (11-7) at Plumpton 2m 1f nov hcp chs 0-110 (4) sft in Oct.
Daymar Bay (IRE) 6-1 (11-7) Took keen hold towards rear, pushed laong after 5th, never on terms, tailed off, 13th of 15, well behind Stars Du Granits (11-7) at Taunton 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gd in Oct '12.