Calcutta Cup didn't win with much in hand last time and it may be that a 7lb rise in the weights is enough to stop him; instead then we will take a chance on MARCH MATE who enters handicaps off a fair mark of 103. Felix De Giles looks an interesting booking as he has teamed up well with trainer Brian Ellison in the past, winning once from three rides this season. The selection only has the one win to his name on the flat, but he has shown enough in three runs over hurdles (including a fair effort behind Caravel), to suggest that he may be capable of picking up a race or two over timber. Strobe ran well in defeat last time out but the worry would be that he is high enough in the weights now, whilst Woody Valentine has a whopping 23lb rise in the weights for wining a poor seller last time. Currahee and Tiger King are two other horses who need respect lurking at the bottom of the weights, whilst up the other end Los Nadis and Along The Nile, two course and distance winners, are high on any shortlist despite poor latest runs. Quick Will and Motive join Joe Jo Star on a worryingly long list of dangers; however it is March Mate who receives the vote.
Los Nadis (GER) 20-1 (10-12) Mid-division, weakening when pulled up 3 out in race won by European Dream (11-0) at Musselburgh 2m hcp hdl 0-145 (2) gd in Feb, 14 ran.
Along The Nile 11-1 (10-5) Mid-division, ridden after 3 out, weakened after next, 7th of 14, 15l behind Oscardeal (10-5) at Southwell 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-140 (2) gs in Feb.
Quick Will (FR) 8-1 (10-10) Mid-division, ridden 3 out, driven and no impression from next, 9th of 17, 21l behind Greenbelt (10-6) at Catterick 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gs in Jan.
Calcutta Cup (UAE) 11-2 (11-11) Mid-division, headway from 4 out to lead and hit 2 out, soon ridden, hit last, driven out, won at Musselburgh 2m nov hdl (4) gs in Jan beating I'm Delilah (10-11) by 1/2l, 12 ran.
Motive (FR) 20-1 (10-12) Held up, behind from 7th, 12th of 17, 37l behind Greenbelt (10-6) at Catterick 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) gs in Jan.
Joe Jo Star 6-1 (10-0) Towards rear, smooth headway approaching 3 out, every chance next, driven and weakened flat, 5th of 14, 4l behind European Dream (11-0) at Musselburgh 2m hcp hdl 0-145 (2) gd in Feb.
Strobe 5-1fav (11-2) Led, headed 3 out, soon ridden, 1 length down last, driven and kept on again close home, 2nd of 14, nk behind Ormus (11-9) at Musselburgh 2m hcp hdl 0-105 (4) gs in Feb.
Hazeldene 20-1 (11-4) Chased leader, led 2nd, headed 3 out, one pace, 3rd of 15, 9l behind Mighty Moon (11-4) at Newcastle 2m nov hdl (4) hvy in Jan.
Woody Valentine (USA) 4-1jt-fav (11-4) Tracked leader, led 3 out, 15 lengths clear last, eased towards finish, easily, won at Catterick 2m sll hcp hdl 0-90 (5) gs in Dec beating Ras Laffan (9-10) by 14l, 14 ran.
Toshi (USA) 9-1 (10-12) Raced keenly in touch, chasing winner when brought down at the last in race won by Akarem (10-12) at Kelso 2m nov hdl (4) gs in Nov '07, 16 ran.
March Mate 8-1 (11-0) Towards rear, mid-division halfway, lost place after 4 out, ridden and some headway to chase leaders 2 out, weakened from last, 5th of 14, 20l behind Caravel (11-0) at Musselburgh 2m mdn hdl (5) gf in Dec.
Currahee 33-1 (9-11) Towards rear, in 6th and beaten when fell 2 out in race won by Laredo Sound (10-12) at Doncaster 2m 3f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) sft in Jan, 13 ran.
Tiger King (GER) 25-1 (10-1) Always towards rear, 11th of 15, 42l behind Prosecco (10-9) at Ayr 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft in Jan.