Comfortable Sandown winner Dormello Mo is obviously a danger but VOLNAY DE THAIX may have the class to defy top weight. The five-year-old was denied a hat-trick in a Grade 2 at Ascot last time but the third won a valuable handicap off a mark of 134 subsequently, suggesting Nicky Henderson's charge isn't badly treated here. Kuda Huraa just ran out of steam on heavy ground here at the start of the month and should strip fitter today while Shammick Boy is no slouch and starting to come down the weights again. Ted Spread has a bit to prove on recent form, however, and Kings Lad has been off for a while.
Volnay De Thaix (FR) 4-5fav (11-7) Tracked leading pair, went 2nd after 3 out until pushed along 2 out, outpaced in 3rd between last 2, left disputing modest 2nd and hampered last, driven to outright 2nd post, no chance with winner, 2nd of 6, 6l behind Irving (11-7) at Ascot 2m nov hdl G2 (1) sft in Dec.
Ted Spread 12-1 (11-1) Tracked leaders, led before 3 out, headed run-in, soon weakened, 5th of 10, 8l behind Makari (11-0) at Doncaster 2m hcp hdl (2) gd in Dec.
Shammick Boy (IRE) 6-1 (11-12) Tracked leaders, ran in snatches, not fluent 7th, driven after 3 out, 4th and one pace before 2 out, mistake and weakened last, 4th of 6, 19l behind Helium (10-1) at Taunton 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) hvy in Jan.
Kings Lad (IRE) 13-8 (11-6) In touch, chased leaders after 4th, effort after 3 out, soon weakened, modest 3rd, 3rd of 7, 38l behind Southfield Theatre (11-6) at Wincanton 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Apr.
Dormello Mo (FR) 3-1 (11-8) Tracked leading trio, quickened to lead approaching last, soon clear, easily, won at Sandown 2m (3) sft beating Astrum (11-1) by 7l, 6 ran.
Kuda Huraa (IRE) 16-1 (11-3) Held up in last pair, smooth headway approaching 2 out, left in narrow lead 2 out, joined when stumbled on landing last, headed run in, rallied as winner idled in front, just held, 2nd of 6, nk behind Jumps Road (11-11) at Newbury 2m hcp hdl 0-140 (3) hvy.