ODIN'S RAVEN has improved with every run over timber, finishing a long way clear of debutant Twisted and It's A Mans World when winning over C&D on his third start last month before narrowly failing to defy a big weight in a novices' handicap over a slightly longer trip here three weeks ago. He looks the one to beat again today. Ancient Times was runner-up in a modest heat at Perth last September but hasn't shone on the all-weather since. Ursus is more exposed but was a fair fourth in a handicap at Wetherby earlier this month and looks the pick of the remainder.
Odin's Raven (IRE) 5-1 (11-1) Held up in rear, not fluent 2nd, headway 6th, hit 2 out, went 2nd last, stayed on, 2nd of 11, nk behind Bocciani (11-9) at Sedgefield 2m 2f nov hcp hdl (2) gf in Apr.
Dirleton (IRE) 66-1 (11-2) Held up mid-division, lost place 4 out, soon weakened, 9th of 12, 29l behind Little Hercules (11-2) at Musselburgh 2m nh nov hdl (4) sft in Feb.
It's A Mans World 20-1 (11-0) Tracked leaders on outer, challenged 3 out, weakened before 2 out, 9th of 12, 36l behind Odin's Raven (10-9) at Sedgefield 2m 1f mdn hdl (5) gf in Apr.
Twisted 33-1 (11-0) Held up towards rear, weakened after 4 out, 8th of 12, 28l behind Odin's Raven (10-9) at Sedgefield 2m 1f mdn hdl (5) gf in Apr.
Ursus 25-1 (11-3) Held up in rear and keen, headway before 2 out, weakened before last, 4th of 8, 11l behind Lap of Honour (11-9) at Wetherby 2m hcp hdl 0-110 (4) gf.
Ancient Times (USA) 28-1 (10-12) Took keen hold, not fluent 1st, soon tracking leaders, not fluent 5th, mistake 3 out, chased winner last, no impression, 2nd of 7, 6l behind Al Dafa (10-12) at Perth 2m 3yo hdl (4) sft in Sep.
Golden Emperor (IRE) 66-1 (10-1) Held up towards rear and keen, tailed off from 5th, 6th of 9, well behind Goodwood Starlight (10-12) at Sedgefield 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) gf.
Solway Beyond 66-1 (10-8) In rear, mistake 3rd, not fluent 4th, behind 6th, pulled up before next, in a race won by What A Warrior (10-8) at Perth 2m 4f mdn hdl (4) gd in Apr, 13 ran.
Thistledown Rose 250-1 (10-5) In rear, pulled up 3 out, in a race won by Drussell (11-0) at Ayr 2m nh nov hdl (4) gd in Mar '10, 14 ran.