Richard's Sundance was withdrawn from a race at Newbury yesterday because of a bruised foot and may not have recovered in time to take his place here. In any case, he might struggle to give 9lb to PETTIFOUR, who should now be cherry-ripe after a couple of runs this term. He once won a Grade 1 over hurdles and, though proving less effective over fences, is well enough handicapped to make his class tell here. Chartreux and Doubletoilntrouble are less exposed but the former has his fair share of weight and the latter is 6lb out of the handicap. Miko De Beauchene is getting a bit long in the tooth and Chasers Chance has lost his way, while Upham Atom and Etxalar have disappointed this term but Dusky Bob finished ahead of the selection at Haydock two runs ago and has won over 3m since at Musselburgh.
Richard's Sundance (IRE) 14-1 (11-10) Led until 4 out, mistake and no extra 2 out, 5th of 11, 22l behind Handtheprizeover (9-8) at Doncaster 3m hcp chs 0-135 (3) sft in Dec.
Chartreux (FR) 5-1 (11-10) Tracked leaders, went 3rd before 9th, joined leaders travelling well 4 out, chased winner from 3 out, mistake last, stayed on flat, always held, 2nd of 8, 2 1/4l behind Handy Andy (11-0) at Newbury 3m nov hcp chs 0-125 (3) sft in Dec.
Pettifour (IRE) 5-1 (11-10) Mid-division, headway to chase leaders 16th, ridden and every chance before 2 out, kept on and no impression before last, 2nd of 12, 28l behind Well Refreshed (11-1) at Plumpton 3m 5f hcp chs 0-130 (3) sft.
Miko de Beauchene (FR) 8-1 (11-6) In touch, blundered 9th, headway before next, ridden before 3 out, weakened before 2 out, 4th of 12, 42l behind Well Refreshed (11-1) at Plumpton 3m 5f hcp chs 0-130 (3) sft.
Upham Atom 14-1 (10-11) Held up towards rear, weakened from 15th, tailed off and jumped right last, 6th of 9, 35l behind Incentivise (10-0) at Fontwell 3m 4f hcp chs 0-135 (3) gs in Nov.
Dusky Bob (IRE) 15-8fav (11-11) Held up in 4th, pushed along, 11th, went 2nd 4 out, challenged when not fluent 2 out, soon ridden, stayed on under pressure flat, led near finish, won at Musselburgh 3m hcp chs 0-110 (4) gs in Dec beating Eyre Apparent (11-5) by nk, 5 ran.
Chasers Chance (IRE) 12-1 (11-2) In rear, reminders before 8th, soon struggling, 4th of 7, 24l behind Camden (11-7) at Plumpton 2m 4f hcp chs 0-120 (4) gs in Nov.
Etxalar (FR) 13-2 (10-1) Tracked leaders in 3rd, in 2nd when mistake 9th, no extra from last, 6th of 14, 8l behind Isla Pearl Fisher (10-12) at Musselburgh 3m hcp chs 0-135 (3) gs in Dec.
Doubletoilntrouble (IRE) 6-4fav (11-9) Held up in last pair, good headway to chase leading pair 14th, went 2nd before 4 out, closed approaching and hit last, no impression flat, 2nd of 7, 10l behind Ukrainian Star (11-11) at Hereford 3m 1f hcp 0-100 (5) hvy in Dec.