It's a surprise to see Larks Lad dropping down to the minimum trip as he rarely runs below 2m4f. He made all over that distance at Uttoxeter in September but his connections must believe he has the pace for this. He wouldn't want any more rain however, a remark that also applies to Sky Calling, who was clear when falling at the last at Stratford in September. The latter has only won on quick ground but still looks a big threat. The Chazer has hardly picked his feet up since scoring here in May but further rain would aid his cause though the safest option is DRUMSHAMBO. Venetia Williams' charge isn't affected by ground conditions and gained the second of his two recent victories in battling style at Hereford.
Russian Flag (FR) 12-1 (11-0) Led aft 1-7 & 9-12; led 15 til hdd app 3 out; wknd nxt, 4th of 6, 31l behind Sagalyrique (11-0) at Cambridge University United Hunt 3m ptp gd in Nov.
Drumshambo (USA) 11-8fav (11-12) Tracked leaders on inside, outpaced after 4 out, rallied next, led last, stayed on well, won at Hereford 2m hcp chs 0-120 (4) sft beating Rody (11-7) by 2l, 7 ran.
The Chazer (IRE) 7-2 (11-4) Tracked leaders, went 2nd before 3rd, led after next, already headed when blundered and weakened 3 out, 4th of 5, 30l behind Marshal Zhukov (11-12) at Taunton 2m hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft.
Larks Lad (IRE) 4-1 (11-11) Prominent, led 3rd, not fluent 4 out, all out, won at Uttoxeter 2m 4f hcp chs 0-120 (4) gd in Sep beating George Nympton (11-10) by 3/4l, 9 ran.
Unforgettable (IRE) 25-1 (10-7) Tracked l eaders in 3rd and keen, headway 4f out to join leader, weakened over 2f out, 5th of 6, 32l behind Cross Of Honour (11-0) at Kempton 2m n h flat (4) std.
Up To The Mark 20-1 (11-6) Chased leader until 3rd, stayed chasing leaders, pushed along before 6th, weakened 8th, tailed off, 9th of 11, 46l behind Royale's Charter (11-12) at Taunton 2m hcp chs 0-125 (3) gd in Oct.
Sky Calling 13-2 (11-0) Led and mistake 2nd, headed next, led again 5th, 5 lengths clear when fell last, in a race won by Henry San (11-12) at Stratford 2m 1f hcp chs 0-115 (4) gd in Sep, 9 ran.