DEVIL TO PAY ran a nice race on his reappearance over C&D when third to Ranjaan. Drumshambo was behind and looks held and Alan King's six-year-old can take advantage of a lowly mark today with his stable bang in form. Edgardo Sol may be in the handicapper's grip now, a remark that can also be applied to Highway Code, but Ski Sunday could be interesting back over the smaller obstacles. He hasn't really taken to fences this term but did win a competitive handicap hurdle at Kempton around this time last year and is only 5lb higher. Akula has been beaten on the all-weather since winning at Wetherby but can't be ignored and Dee Ee Williams has the class to figure, despite an absence.
Dee Ee Williams (IRE) 50-1 (11-6) In touch on outside, lost place 2 out, soon weakened, behind when pulled up before last, in a race won by Final Approach (10-12) at Cheltenham 2m 1f hcp hdl G3 (1) gd in Mar, 26 ran.
Sire De Grugy (FR) 14-1 (10-7) Held up in touch, not fluent 3rd or 5th, challenged before 3 out, led after next, soon ridden, headed flat, no extra close home, 4th of 20, 3 1/2l behind Zarkandar (11-1) at Newbury 2m hcp hdl G3 (1) gs.
Higgy's Ragazzo (FR) 8-1 (11-8) Mid-division, pushed along after 4th, ridden before 3 out, soon struggling and behind, 13th of 15, 36l behind Ciceron (10-12) at Sandown 2m hcp hdl 0-145 (2) sft in Jan.
Edgardo Sol (FR) 10-3fav (11-5) Held up behind, headway approaching 2 out, challenged last, ridden and every chance until no extra final 75 yards, 3rd of 13, 1l behind Bally Legend (11-9) at Cheltenham 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gd in Dec.
Ski Sunday 7-1 (11-0) Disputed lead from 4th, outpaced when lost 2nd after 4 out, kept on same pace under pressure, 3rd and held when hit last, 3rd of 7, 10l behind Carrickboy (11-0) at Catterick 2m 3f beg chase (4) gs in Jan.
Dare Me (IRE) 6-1 (11-2) Mistake 1st, behind, headway on inside when blundered 2 out, chased leaders under pressure when blundered again last, weakened flat, 9th of 14, 11l behind Module (10-11) at Cheltenham 2m 1f hcp hdl (2) gs in Jan.
Highway Code (USA) 6-1 (11-4) Tracked leaders, mistake 2nd, mistake and lost place next, tailed off approaching 4 out, last of 8, well behind Cotillion (10-5) at Chepstow 2m hcp hdl (2) hvy in Jan.
Akula (IRE) 33-1 (11-8) Chased leaders, led before 3 out, ridden before last, kept on well from last, won at Wetherby 2m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs in Dec beating Teenage Idol (10-10) by 1 3/4l, 10 ran.
Devil To Pay 10-1 (10-9) Mid-division, chased leaders under pressure 3 out, kept on same pace from next, no impression with front pair, 3rd of 12, 15l behind Ranjaan (10-5) at Taunton 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-145 (2) gs in Jan.
Nampour (FR) 25-1 (11-9) Tracked leaders, disputing 2nd 6th, ridden and weakened approaching 2 out, 6th of 9, 49l behind Mountainous (11-4) at Ffos Las 2m 4f hcp hdl 0-130 (3) sft in Jan.
Drumshambo (USA) 6-1 (10-6) Mid-division in touch on inside, outpaced 6th, soon ridden, weakened before 2 out, 8th of 12, 33l behind Ranjaan (10-5) at Taunton 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-145 (2) gs in Jan.