The track is an issue for EL DISTINTIVO but we'll put our faith in the trainer's judgement and select the ex-Argentinian gelding to come out on top. Cornelia and Crouch End Flyer may provide the opposition. The selection appeared to struggle to get home on his first two starts over hurdles but saw out the race much better on his third start at Taunton before going one place better at Ffos Las. That run represented another step in the right direction and his trainer can boast a healthy level stakes profit at this track. Cornelia has been a trifle disappointing but her one win came in a novice hurdle over course and distance and the drop back in trip at a track that suits may see her produce a better performance. Crouch End Flyer is another with track form to her name and she's relatively versatile with regard to underfoot conditions but her form has been rather in and out of late. Najca De Thaix is a capable chaser on his day but his days aren't easy to predict whilst Benmore Boy and Rockandahardplace have been disappointing of late so most of the field have more to prove than El Distintivo.
El Distintivo (ARG) 5-1 (11-4) Tracked leader, left in lead 4th, blundered 3 out, headed approaching next, one pace, 2nd of 13, 5l behind Dream Esteem (10-11) at Ffos Las 2m mdn hdl (4) gs in Jan.
Najca De Thaix (FR) 33-1 (10-0) Jumped right, led after 1st, driven and headed before 2 out, beaten before last, 5th of 9, 6l behind Templer (11-7) at Stratford 2m 5f hcp chs 0-140 (2) gd in May.
Benmore Boy (IRE) 7-1 (11-0) Held up in rear, ridden and weakened after 12th, tailed off when pulled up before 4 out, in a race won by The Snail (10-11) at Ludlow 2m 4f nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft in Dec, 7 ran.
Cornelia 14-1 (11-2) Mid-division on outside, weakened 3 out, 11th of 14, 34l behind Dan Buoy (10-12) at Southwell 3m hcp hdl 0-115 (4) gs in Jan.
Crouch End Flyer 5-1fav (10-3) Held up, never dangerous, tailed off when pulled up before last, in a race won by Tarateeno (10-10) at Towcester 3m hcp hdl 0-115 (4) hvy in Nov, 12 ran.
Rockandahardplace (IRE) 16-1 (11-10) Held up, always in rear, tailed off when pulled up before 2 out, in a race won by Prince Geeno (11-9) at Warwick 2m 3f nov hcp hdl 0-100 (4) sft in Dec, 13 ran.
Investment Wings (IRE) 50-1 (11-7) Tracked leaders, went 2nd approaching 3 out, ridden and no impression from 2 out, 8th of 13, 33l behind Acknowledgement (10-0) at Bangor 2m 1f hcp hdl (4) sft in Dec.
Nous Voila (FR) 33-1 (10-11) Prominent, ridden approaching 3 out, soon weakened, 9th of 20, 26l behind Shadrack (10-6) at Doncaster 2m hcp hdl 0-100 (4) gs in Jan.