WASHINGTON IRVING is sure to be popular with punters here and he gets the pick over Bygones of Brid and Edge of Town. The selection is likely to be quite a prohibitive price but he does look the stand-out runner in this field. He won in facile fashion on his debut over hurdles at Carlisle in November and a reproduction of that effort should suffice today. The fact that we know he will handle the ground is another big plus. Bygones of Brid has won three of his seven starts over hurdles so he is clearly capable of taking advantage if the selection fails to fire. He is another that goes on the ground and he has also got winning form on this track. Edge of Town is having only his fifth run and he did win in convincing fashion at Wetherby last month. However, that was over 2m6f and this drop in trip is not sure to suit. Lord Villez has got some decent form in France and is worth noting in the market, while Apache Blue looks Howard Johnson's second-string here. We will return to his other runner Washington Irving as the selection.
Bygones of Brid (IRE) 12-1 (11-7) Took keen hold, in touch, headway to chase leading pair after 3 out, weakened and hung left before last, 5th of 8, 17l behind Tell Massini (11-7) at Cheltenham 3m nov hdl G2 (1) sft in Dec.
Edge of Town (IRE) 9-4 (10-12) Tracked leaders, led approaching 3 out, stayed on well from last, won at Wetherby 2m 6f nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Dec beating King O'the Gypsies (10-12) by 9l, 11 ran.
Washington Irving (IRE) Evensfav (10-12) Held up mid-division, went 2nd on bit over 3 out, hit 2 out, led last, soon drew clear, won at Carlisle 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Nov beating Oil Burner (10-7) by 15l, 12 ran.
Apache Blue (IRE) 25-1 (10-12) Jumped slowly 1st, tracked leaders, lost place 4th, struggling 6th, no danger after, 5th of 9, 33l behind King Fontaine (11-5) at Market Rasen 2m 3f nov hdl (4) sft in Dec.
Arctic Court (IRE) 14-1 (11-2) Towards rear, ridden 3f out, from late headway final furlong, 4th of 10, 6l behind Quite The Man (10-11) at Kelso 2m NH flat (5) gd in Apr.
Birch Hill Bedouin 17-2 (10-12) Tracked leaders, pushed along and lost place after 3rd, 6th of 10, 21l behind Cunning Clarets (10-12) at Hexham 2m nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Dec.
Claude Carter 40-1 (10-7) Held up mid-division, headway when mistake 3 out, soon ridden and weakened, 7th of 14, well behind Going Wrong (10-12) at Carlisle 2m 4f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Nov.
Danny John Boy 5-4 (12-0) Prom til wknd app 2 out, 3rd of 8, 11l behind Overjoyed (11-7) at Aspatria 3m ptp gs in May.
Lord Villez (FR) (10-7) 7th of 12, 19l behind Le Legionnaire (10-4) at Auteuil(FR) 2m 5f chs in Nov.
Luso's Lad (IRE) 10-1 (11-2) Led after 4f, headed and weakened over 2f out, 6th of 16, 30l behind Willie Hall (10-11) at Newcastle 2m mdn NH flat (6) gs in Nov.