A tricky contest with plenty of chances. Mason Hindmarsh is an interesting one though as he's spent most of the past 18 months plying his trade on the level, winning three times. He is very lightly raced over timber but has already shown ability in the discipline and could be on a most attractive mark here. Brian Ellison confuses matters by fielding a trio of contenders, of which Fleet Dawn makes most appeal, although his two most recent successes arrived on much quicker ground. His ability to handle the forecast conditions must be taken on trust. Market support for Lightening Rod would be noteworthy but the formbook suggests that the consistent pair of Laterly and Pas Trop Tard are safer options for the shortlist in a competitive affair.
Akula (IRE) 40-1 (11-3) Led to 4th, tracked leader, led again after 5th before next, close up in 2nd when fell 3 out (usual 6 out), in a race won by Unioniste (11-1) at Aintree 2m 4f nov chs (3) gd in Oct, 6 ran.
Dontpaytheferryman (USA) 16-1 (10-10) Led, mistake 2nd, ridden and headed after 7th, soon weakened, tailed off, 16th of 20, well behind Hada Men (10-8) at Haydock 2m 4f hcp hdl (2) gd in Apr.
Fleet Dawn 85-40 (11-5) Tracked leaders, pushed along approaching 3 out, led after 2 out, went left and not fluent last, ran on, won at Sedgefield 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) gf in Aug beating Magic Haze (10-12) by 7l, 12 ran.
Royal Opera 9-1 (11-12) Chased leader until 5th, weakened approaching 4 out, tailed off, 10th of 15, well behind Sporting Boy (11-3) at Wetherby 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gs.
Laterly (IRE) 14-1 (11-4) Chased leaders, went 2nd 5th, led 4 out, headed approaching 3 out, chased winner until ridden next, hung left and weakened to 4th before last, 4th of 15, 16l behind Sporting Boy (11-3) at Wetherby 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gs.
Meetings Man (IRE) 16-1 (11-1) Held up towards rear, headway and in touch when mistake 4 out, chased leaders before 3 out, went 2nd 2 out, stayed on same pace, no chance with winner, 2nd of 15, 8l behind Sporting Boy (11-3) at Wetherby 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gs.
Grey Soldier (IRE) 80-1 (11-4) Always behind, 9th of 11, 31l behind Vulcanite (11-11) at Fakenham 2m hcp hdl 0-135 (3) gs in Oct.
Gloucester 40-1 (11-2) Behind, hampered 6th, mistake next, pulled up before 8th, in a race won by Molotof (11-2) at Taunton 2m nov chs (4) gd in Oct, 11 ran.
Lightening Rod 9-1 (11-1) Held up well in rear, steady headway 4 out, went 3rd approaching and went left last, kept on same pace flat, 3rd of 15, 9l behind Sporting Boy (11-3) at Wetherby 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gs.
Mason Hindmarsh 14-1 (11-8) With leader and keen, led 4th, headed 3 out, ridden before last, no chance with winner, 2nd of 5, 10l behind Tonic Mellysse (11-8) at Ayr 2m 4yo hdl (3) gd in Apr '11.
Pas Trop Tard (FR) 9-5 (11-3) Led, blundered and headed 5th, regained lead after 4 out, ridden and hard pressed between last 2, headed last, no extra in 3rd final 50 yards, 3rd of 5, 3 1/2l behind Ahyaknowyerself (11-12) at Carlisle 2m 1f hcp hdl 0-125 (3) sft in Oct.
Amir Pasha (UAE) 40-1 (10-7) Towards rear when hit 2nd, reminders after next, never involved, tailed off, 8th of 15, 49l behind Sporting Boy (11-3) at Wetherby 2m hcp hdl 0-125 (3) gs.