CLOSING CEREMONY has taken on decent opposition in his two runs to date over hurdles. The slight drop in distance might help and Emma Lavelle's charge can make it third-time lucky ahead of penalised mare Tagrita, who was a ready winner at Exeter after a promising third at Newbury. Gallic Warrior may find this too far while former pointers Kudu Shine and Royal Player haven't run for a while but may still be the pick of the remainder.
Absolutely Bygones (IRE) 16-1 (10-9) Held up in rear, headway 3 out, soon no impression, 6th of 9, 13l behind Neston Grace (10-12) at Exeter 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) gd in Nov.
Closing Ceremony (IRE) 9-4 (10-9) Tracked leaders, took keen hold, mostly raced wide, hit 6th, soon given reminder, jumped slowly 8th, not fluent next, chased winner after, hit 2 out, no impression and lost 2nd when jumped right and slowly last, no extra, 3rd of 5, 15l behind Potters Cross (10-12) at Ffos Las 3m nh nov hdl (4) sft in Nov.
Gallic Warrior (FR) 3-1 (10-12) In touch, hampered 1st, soon chasing leaders, effort 3 out, ridden to challenge approaching last, stayed on same pace, 4th of 9, 5l behind Neston Grace (10-12) at Exeter 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) gd in Nov.
Garde Fou (FR) 20-1 (10-12) Always behind, struggling 5th, weakened next, soon tailed off, 6th of 12, 49l behind Madness Light (10-9) at Lingfield 2m 3f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Dec.
Know More Oats (IRE) 11-1 (10-13) In touch on outside, driven 4f out, kept on same pace under pressure, never troubled leaders, 5th of 8, 8l behind Tara Road (10-11) at Chepstow 2m NH flat (6) gs in Dec.
Kudu Shine 5-4 (12-0) Hdwy 13; went 2nd 3 out; rdn to ld final 100yds, won at Eggesford 3m ptp gf in May beating Ann's Lottery (11-7) by 1 1/2l, 5 ran.
Royal Player 4-1 (11-7) Mostly 2nd until 3rd bef 2out, went 2nd aftr 2out, 6l 2nd & no ex last until 3rd cl home, 3rd of 10, 12l behind Racing Pulse (11-7) at Ballindenisk 3m ire ptp gd in May.
Wansbeck 33-1 (11-7) Prom in chsng group til wknd 11, 6th of 13, 37l behind All But Grey (12-0) at Four Burrow 2m 4f ptp gf in May.
Tagrita (IRE) 11-8fav (10-7) Made all, came clear from 2 out, unchallenged, won at Exeter 2m 7f mdn hdl (4) sft in Dec beating V Neck (11-0) by 5l, 11 ran.