Nigel and Sam Twiston-Davies won this last year with The New One but this year's representative, Splash Of Ginge, isn't in the same league, though did show some improvement last time behind Irving at Ascot. Creepy, Killala Quay and Rathvinden are conceding 3lb to their rivals. Charlie Longsdon's charge may be the pick of that trio having stayed on strongly to win in this grade at Sandown last time, though Rathvinden could be anything after a facile debut win over 2m at Cork. MASTERS HILL was the only one to make a race of it with King's Palace at Cheltenham. Conditions should bring his stamina into play again and, as he holds Potters Cross of the form book, he gets the nod as Deputy Dan and Garrahalish are stepping out of maiden company.
Creepy (IRE) 5-1 (11-7) Took keen hold tracking leader, hit 2nd and next, soon lost 3rd, losing place when blundered and unseated rider 4 out, in a race won by Captain Cutter (11-7) at Newbury 2m 5f nov hdl Grade 1 (1) hvy in Dec, 6 ran.
Killala Quay 5-1 (11-4) Tracked leading trio, headway disputing close 2nd when mistake 2 out, rallied and switched left approaching last, ridden and upsides last, soon led and stayed on strongly, driven out, won at Sandown 2m 4f nov hdl G2 (1) gs in Dec beating Beat That (11-7) by 2 1/2l, 5 ran.
Rathvinden (IRE) 4-5fav (11-12) Tracked leaders, not fluent 4th, led 3 out, clear approaching last, stayed on well, easily, won at Cork 2m mdn hdl sft in Dec beating Dromnea (11-12) by 11l, 24 ran.
Deputy Dan (IRE) 10-11fav (11-0) Held up in touch, went 2nd 6th, led 4 out, drew well clear after 2 out, easily, won at Chepstow 2m 4f mdn hdl (4) hvy in Dec beating Ceasar Milan (11-0) by 19l, 15 ran.
Garrahalish (IRE) 10-1 (10-12) Tracked leader, led before 2 out, driven out, won at Towcester 2m NH nov hdl 4-6yo (4) hvy in Dec beating Come On Laurie (10-12) by 1 1/2l, 10 ran.
Masters Hill (IRE) 25-1 (11-4) Tracked winner throughout, not fluent 3rd, hung left and no impression before last, stayed on same pace, 2nd of 7, 14l behind Kings Palace (11-7) at Cheltenham 3m nov hdl G2 (1) gd in Dec.
Potters Cross 10-1 (11-4) Prominent, not fluent 3 out, 4th and well held from next, left 3rd last, 3rd of 7, 33l behind Kings Palace (11-7) at Cheltenham 3m nov hdl G2 (1) gd in Dec.
Splash of Ginge 6-1 (11-4) Led, not fluent 1st, jumped slowly 3rd, ridden hung right and headed between last 2, soon dropped to 4th, left disputing 2nd and hampered at the last until dropped to 3rd post, 3rd of 6, 6l behind Irving (11-7) at Ascot 2m nov hdl G2 (1) sft in Dec.