Chaser Radetsky March had a nice confidence-booster over the smaller obstacles when scoring by 12 lengths at Huntingdon. This looks tougher under a penalty however. Robert Thornton has chosen C&D winner Pride In Battle ahead of stablemate Ravastree, a winner between the flags in Ireland in October, but we prefer the claims of PENNY MAX. Starting at long odds-on, Emma Lavelle's Irish import never gave supporters a moment's worry when landing a Folkestone bumper in November and his hurdling debut is eagerly anticipated. Sunley Peace was a decent stayer on the Flat in his younger days but has had his problems in recent years so stablemate Amaury De Lusignan is preferred here.
Pride In Battle (IRE) 15-2 (10-12) Tracked leaders, headway to challenge on inside 3 out, led last, soon edged right, ridden and hard pressed flat, held on towards finish, won at Newbury 2m 3f NH nov hdl 4-6yo (4) gd in Dec beating Cucumber Run (10-12) by 3/4l, 16 ran.
Radetsky March (IRE) 20-1 (11-6) Made all, jumped left, clear when not fluent last, unchallenged, won at Huntingdon 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) gs beating Faultless Feelings (11-6) by 12l, 15 ran.
Amaury De Lusignan (IRE) 8-1 (11-7) Ww rr, 9th & gng well 5out, prog in fair 5th 2out & went 2nd close home, nrst at fin, 2nd of 11, 7l behind Viaduct Joey (11-7) at Dromahane 3m ire ptp gd in Nov.
Autumn Haze 7-1 (10-12) Tracked winner, not fluent 4th, soon led, headed when mistake next, no impression when mistake 3 out, lost 2nd next, 4th of 13, 27l behind Silver Gypsy (10-5) at Uttoxeter 2m nh nov hdl (4) sft in Nov.
Penny Max (IRE) 1-4fav (11-2) Steadied start, took keen hold and held up in last pair, headway 6f out, went 3rd 4f out, 2nd entering final 3f, led approaching 2f out, pushed clear final furlong, easily, won at Folkestone 2m 1f NH flat (5) hvy in Nov beating Armedanddangerous (11-2) by 4 1/2l, 8 ran.
Ravastree (IRE) 6-1 (11-7) Chsd ldrs, 3rd 1/2way, prog travelling well to ld bef 2out, kow from last, comfortably, won at Lingstown 3m ire ptp gd in Oct beating Minella Break (11-7) by 12l, 12 ran.
Saute 100-1 (10-7) Chased leaders until ridden and weakened 3 out, 10th of 15, 29l behind Our Father (11-0) at Chepstow 2m 4f mdn hdl (4) sft.
Sunley Peace 10-1 (8-1) Held up mid-division, driven 4f out, headway when not clear run over 2f out, switched left, stayed on one pace, 7th of 33, 14l behind Leg Spinner (8-11) at Newmarket 2m 2f hcap (2) gs in Oct '07 (flat).