IMPERIAL VIC goes from strength-to-strength and should go close if improving again on a couple of recent C&D victories while Monetary Fund was successful here in November and has been taking on better opposition since. A watching brief is advised on Drill Sergeant, however, as he is a bit quirky and without a run this season while the front-running Los Nadis needs to step up on recent efforts. Howizee still looks a shade high in the weights and Makhzoon and Markadam may find this too tough.
Drill Sergeant 33-1 (11-5) Held up towards rear, pecked slightly 4th, mistake 7th, struggling next, 14th of 16, 49l behind Thehillofuisneach (10-11) at Warwick 3m 1f hcp hdl (2) gs in Jan '12.
Lord Wishes (IRE) 8-11fav (11-0) Tracked leaders, went 2nd 3 out, led next, clear last, stayed on well, won at Musselburgh 2m 4f mdn hdl (5) gs in Dec beating Maybe I Wont (11-0) by 11l, 11 ran.
Howizee 12-1 (10-6) Tracked leaders, mistake 2 out, one pace flat, 6th of 20, 10l behind Action Master (10-6) at Cheltenham 3m hcp hdl (2) gs in Oct.
Los Nadis (GER) 33-1 (10-11) Held up towards rear, weakened after 4 out, 9th of 16, 31l behind Trustan Times (11-12) at Haydock 3m hcp hdl Grade 3 (1) sft in Nov.
Monetary Fund (USA) 14-1 (10-7) Mid-division, headway approaching 2 out, ridden and effort between last 2, one pace when hit last, no impression flat, 7th of 12, 19l behind At Fishers Cross (10-12) at Cheltenham 3m hcp hdl (2) hvy in Dec.
Makhzoon (USA) 12-1 (11-0) With leaders, weakened after 2 out, 5th of 8, 10l behind Alpha Victor (11-8) at Haydock 3m hcp hdl 0-140 (3) hvy in Dec.
Imperial Vic (IRE) 10-11fav (11-5) Pressed leader, led before 3rd, made rest, driven 3 out, ridden and stayed on well flat, won at Musselburgh 3m nh nov hdl (4) gs in Dec beating Harry The Lemmon (10-12) by 1 1/4l, 7 ran.
Ryton Runner (IRE) 16-1 (11-5) Held up mid-division, headway before 3 out, ridden before last, every chance run, no extra near finish, 3rd of 9, 3/4l behind Monetary Fund (11-8) at Musselburgh 3m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gd in Nov.
Solway Sam 11-2 (11-9) Held up towards rear, headway before 3 out, soon ridden and weakened, 4th of 8, 23l behind Victor Hewgo (11-11) at Doncaster 3m hcp hdl 0-120 (4) sft in Nov.
Latin Connection (IRE) 6-1 (11-1) Held up mid-division, headway before 2 out, kept on from last, 3rd of 15, 3/4l behind Parc Des Princes (10-5) at Musselburgh 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gs in Dec.
Markadam 20-1 (10-10) Towards rear, headway before last, went 2nd at last, kept on to lead towards finish, won at Carlisle 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-115 (4) hvy in Dec beating River Dragon (11-4) by 1/2l, 9 ran.
Powerful Ambition (IRE) 9-1 (10-11) Mid-division, headway after 8th, went 2nd 3 out until not fluent 2 out, 3rd and no extra when mistake last, weakened flat, 3rd of 13, 20l behind Master Of The Sea (10-7) at Aintree 2m 4f nov hcp hdl 0-120 (4) sft in Dec.