Brian Ellison has no qualms about pitching ROYAL OPERA into all-aged handicap company after his demolition job at Market Rasen where he made all. The three-year-old will find this much tougher but is probably better than his rating implies and can take this. Simply Ned is another youngster taking the handicap route for the first time after easy victories in maiden and novice company and he looks better than stablemate Rain Stops Play, who may need further. The handicapper has taken few chances with him but he's still entitled to respect as is Allow Me though the latter appeared suited by stepping up to 2m4f here last month. Zaplamation hasn't done as well as expected but isn't out of what looks an open contest.
Allow Me 10-11fav (11-0) Made virtually all, shaken up when not fluent last, driven out, won at Musselburgh 2m 4f mdn hdl (5) gd in Nov beating Ebanour (11-0) by 3 1/2l, 8 ran.
Jet Master (IRE) 12-1 (11-5) Raced keenly, in touch on inside, hampered 4th, outpaced 2 out, 4th and held when mistake last, weakened flat, 6th of 13, 16l behind Eurohunter (10-12) at Kelso 2m nh nov hdl (4) sft.
Simply Ned (IRE) 4-9fav (11-4) Held up towards rear, headway on inside 4th, went 3rd before 3 out, chased leader soon after, led before and hit last, stayed on strongly, eased towards finish, won at Sedgefield 2m 1f NH nov hdl 4-6yo (4) gd in Nov beating Angel Sun (10-12) by 9l, 12 ran.
Zaplamation (IRE) 9-2 (10-9) Held up mid-division, headway before 2 out, ridden last, kept on same pace flat, 4th of 10, 6l behind Akula (11-8) at Wetherby 2m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs.
Rain Stops Play (IRE) 8-1 (10-12) Held up in rear, headway after 8th, not fluent 3 out, ridden after last, stayed on same pace, 3rd of 11, 4 1/2l behind He's A Hawker (11-5) at Cartmel 2m 6f nh nov hdl (4) gf in Jul.
Toshi (USA) 16-1 (10-1) Mid-division, mistake 3 out, never on terms, weakened next, 6th of 12, 22l behind Desert Cry (11-12) at Haydock 2m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gd in Nov.
Dhaular Dhar (IRE) 6-1 (10-12) Held up in touch, weakened 2 out, 8th of 9, well behind Vintage Star (10-9) at Carlisle 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) gs in Nov.
Bridlingtonbygones (IRE) 12-1 (11-3) Chased leaders, ridden and weakened before 2 out, 6th of 12, 26l behind Gordonsville (11-11) at Musselburgh 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-120 (4) gd.
Hunters Belt (IRE) 14-1 (10-6) Behind, ridden after 4 out, soon pulled up, in a race won by Akula (11-8) at Wetherby 2m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs, 10 ran.
Aggravation 11-1 (11-7) Held up in touch, in 3rd before 2 out, ridden and weakened last, 4th of 14, 14l behind Arisea (11-0) at Catterick 2m 3f con hcp hdl 0-110 (4) gd in Nov.
Royal Opera 8-11fav (10-12) Made all, set steady pace until quickened before 3 out, soon well clear, unchallenged, eased near finish, won at Market Rasen 2m 1f 3yo hdl (4) gs beating Philharmonic Hall (11-5) by 18l, 7 ran.
Kingdom Of Munster (IRE) 13-2 (10-10) Towards rear, headway 5th, chased leaders next, went 2nd 3 out until next, weakened and blundered last, 7th of 12, 30l behind High Ransom (10-12) at Carlisle 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-120 (4) sft in Nov.
Toledo Gold (IRE) 40-1 (11-0) Led, headed after 4 out, weakened before next, 5th of 14, 48l behind Alsahil (10-7) at Musselburgh 2m mdn hdl (5) gd.