Dual bumper winner SPIRIT OF SHANKLY was thrown in at the deep end on his hurdling debut in a Listed race at Kempton but came out of the test with honour intact. He found only the experienced Hawkhill and Princely Player too good but was only a length behind the winner and a repeat of that effort should suffice here. It's hard to see sixth Zarzal reversing the form and a bigger danger may be Karazhan, who won a Bangor bumper last month and has obvious scope. Flying Phoenix was second in a Stratford handicap last month but is likely to find a few of these too good and Deceptive was well beaten at Worcester after finishing second at Huntingdon. The others have some improving to do.
Arty Farmer 12-1 (11-3) Held up, headway 6th, ridden after 7th, 2 lenghts 2nd when left in lead 2 out, headed flat, stayed on same pace, 3rd of 17, 4 1/2l behind Direct Flo (11-9) at Worcester 2m 4f sell hcp hdl 0-90 (5) gd in Jul '11.
Castlemorris King 50-1 (10-7) Tracked leaders, not fluent 1st, mistake 3 out, no impression before next, 5th of 12, 17l behind Pendra (11-0) at Plumpton 2m mdn hdl (5) sft.
Generous John 100-1 (10-5) Prominent, jumped right and not fluent 2nd, lost place 5th, mistake next, soon well behind, pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Kings Lad (10-12) at Wincanton 2m NH nov hdl 4-6yo (3) gs, 14 ran.
Goodtoknow 10-1 (10-9) Tracked leaders, pushed along 8f out, lost place over 6f out, never back on terms, plugged on final 2f, 7th of 12, 26l behind Karazhan (11-0) at Bangor 2m 1f NH flat (6) gs in Oct.
Harrys Yer Man 66-1 (10-12) Held up in touch, took keen hold, joined leader 4th, mistake and jumped badly right 3 out, lost place, tailed off, last of 6, well behind Forgotten Voice (10-12) at Bangor 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) gd in Jul.
Jack The Cracker 11-1 (10-12) Always behind, tailed off, last of 12, well behind Seebright (11-3) at Towcester 2m mdn NH flat (6) sft in Apr.
Karazhan 3-1 (11-0) Mid-division on inside, headway 9f out, went 2nd over 2f out, led 1f out, ran on well, won at Bangor 2m 1f NH flat (6) gs in Oct beating Clondaw Draft (10-11) by 4l, 12 ran.
Rainbow Haze 16-1 (10-11) Tracked leaders, outpaced 8th, soon weakened, 6th of 12, 22l behind Hollow Penny (11-0) at Bangor 2m 4f mdn hdl (4) gs in Oct.
Seymour Alfie 100-1 (10-12) Always towards rear, weakened before 3 out, tailed off, 9th of 10, well behind Polly Peachum (10-5) at Stratford 2m NH nov hdl 4-6yo (3) sft.
Spirit Of Shankly 7-2 (11-0) Tracked leading trio, jumped right at times, went 2nd approaching last, not able to trouble winner, lost 2nd flat stayed on, 3rd of 8, 1l behind Hawkhill (11-6) at Kempton 2m Listed nov hdl (1) gd in Oct.
Weet In Nerja 50-1 (9-13) Behind, outpaced when hit 2 out, never dangerous, 9th of 11, 21l behind Feeling (10-7) at Stratford 2m hcp hld 0-95 (5) gs in Oct.
Zarzal (IRE) 20-1 (11-0) Held up in rear, ridden after 6th, soon well beaten, 6th of 8, 27l behind Hawkhill (11-6) at Kempton 2m Listed nov hdl (1) gd in Oct.
Arch Event 7-1 (8-5) In touch on outside, driven to challenge over 3f out to over 1f out, no chance with winner when lost 2nd inside final furlong, 3rd of 10, 9l behind Tijori (8-8) at Newbury 2m app hcp (5) hvy in Oct (flat).
Deceptive 6-1 (10-10) Prominent, every chance 3 out, 4th and weakening when mistake last, 5th of 13, 38l behind Young Victoria (10-10) at Worcester 2m mrs nov hdl (4) gs in Oct.
Flying Phoenix 40-1 (9-9) Took keen hold tracking leaders, led after 2 out, headed approaching and mistake last, kept on well close home, 2nd of 7, 1 1/4l behind Fashionable Gal (10-12) at Stratford 2m Mares Handicap Hurdle (0-130) (4yo+) (3) gs in Oct.