A very moderate contest where, despite a 6lb rise for not winning at Uttoxeter last time, LEAN BURN may well prove up to the task. Barry Leavy's four-year-old was a good ground Stratford winner last month but a 3lb rise did for him at Uttoxeter. However, conditions were bottomless that day and he may well appreciate the return to better conditions, so we give him the nod. None of the others are in that sort of form, but Secret Desert will be better for a recent spin and may improve this time, while Be My Light takes a marked drop in trip after recent efforts over 2m 5f and 2m 7f, and previous efforts suggest that this may be a bit sharp for her. The Fox's Decree represents a yard going well, but he wants the ground to dry out to be seen to best effect. Monfils Monfils was behind Lean Burn at Stratford and is not totally ruled out with a sizeable pull at the weights.
The Fox's Decree 14-1 (11-7) Held up towards rear, took keen hold, mistake 3rd, headway after 5th, outpaced 8th, rallied after 3 out, weakening when hit 2 out, tailed off, 8th of 12, well behind Red Rouble (11-5) at Towcester 2m 5f nov hcp hdl 0-105 (4) gd in Oct.
Secret Desert 16-1 (11-2) Held up in rear, headway after 3 out, chased winner approaching 2 out, hit last, weakened and lost 2 places towards finish, 4th of 11, 16l behind Emirate Isle (10-13) at Sedgefield 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-95 (5) sft.
Be My Light (IRE) 4-1 (10-2) Tracked leaders, ridden when not fluent 3 out, weakened before next, 4th of 8, 30l behind Malindi Bay (10-8) at Uttoxeter 2m 6f mrs hcp hdl 0-115 (4) hvy in Oct.
Lean Burn (USA) 5-1 (10-6) Chased leaders, challenged 6th, soon led, headed after 3 out, not fluent 2 out, stayed on towards finish, 2nd of 12, 2 1/4l behind Babilu (11-8) at Uttoxeter 2m hcp hdl 0-95 (5) hvy in Oct.
Monfils Monfils (USA) 17-2 (9-10) Prominent, jumped slowly and lost place 6th, weakened 3 out, 4th of 9, 22l behind Lean Burn (9-9) at Stratford 2m ldys hcp hdl 0-100 (4) gd in Oct.