A winner at Leicester, Algernon Pazham was beaten 20 lengths when runner-up in heavy going at Haydock last time. Royal Player scored on his racecourse debut at Exeter and should make another bold bid but a 7lb penalty may take it's toll in this ground and VIVALDI COLLONGES is just preferred. Paul Nicholls' charge failed to cope in better company at Cheltenham last month but had gone close on his debut and can open his account in this. Ready Token is a bumper winner and was still in contention when falling on his hurdling bow. He makes more appeal than Know More Oats, well beaten at Exeter on his first start over timber.
Royal Player 5-1 (11-0) Made all, ridden run-in, held on well, won at Exeter 2m 5f mdn hdl (5) sft in Jan beating Tinker Time (11-0) by 3l, 15 ran.
Algernon Pazham (IRE) 4-1 (10-12) Held up, headway 5th, ridden in 3rd and beaten after 7th, went 18 lengths 2nd last, no chance with winner, 2nd of 5, 20l behind Urban Hymn (10-12) at Haydock 2m 4f nov hdl (4) hvy in Dec.
Know More Oats (IRE) 25-1 (10-9) In touch, mistake 4th, mistake 5th, headway before 2 out, soon weakened, 6th of 13, 20l behind Knight Of Noir (10-12) at Exeter 2m 3f nov hdl (4) sft in Jan.
Ready Token (IRE) 5-2 (11-5) Led until 1st, led before 4th until 7th, led after 3 out, ridden and narrowly headed when fell 2 out, in a race won by Enchanted Garden (11-5) at Market Rasen 2m 3f nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Jan, 11 ran.
Vivaldi Collonges (FR) 7-1 (11-2) Chased leaders, not fluent 3 out or 2 out, lost place approaching last, soon weakened, last of 6, 15l behind Aubusson (11-1) at Cheltenham 2m 4f nh nov hdl (3) sft in Jan.