Ardmillan has had very little racing but was showing very good form when last seen in the spring of last year and wouldn't be travelling over from Ireland unless though capable of a big run. Premier Grand Cru would be a major threat to all on his victory in a better race than this at Doncaster though that was two years ago and he's only run three times subsequently though he'll be better for his recent run on this track. Las Tunas won three races in France but was soon beaten on his debut for new connections while Forest Des Aigles, another winner in France, weakened quickly at Carlisle in October though that was his first start since April 2015. SPANISH FLEET, three times a winner over hurdles, has run well enough in two recent starts over fences at Carlisle to defy top weight and the forecast soft going in now in his favour.
Spanish Fleet 9-4fav (11-12) Tracked winner, ridden after last, kept on and always held, 2nd of 7, 4 1/2l behind Palm Grey (11-6) at Carlisle 2m 4f hcp (4) gd in Nov.
Gold Opera (IRE) 25-1 (11-12) Chased leaders, lost place when mistake 3rd, reminder after 7th, in rear when hit 10th, pulled up before next, at Uttoxeter 2m 4f hcp (4) sft in Nov.
Treat Yourself (IRE) 25-1 (11-2) In rear, struggling when not fluent 8th, soon lost touch, 5th of 7, 30l behind Festive Affair (11-11) at Doncaster 2m hcp (3) sft in Nov.
Premier Grand Cru (FR) 13-2 (11-7) Chased clear pair, ridden after 4 out, stayed on to go 2nd briefly last, no chance with easy winner, 3rd of 6, 14l behind Fair Loch (11-12) at Ayr 2m hcp (4) gs in Oct.
Forest Des Aigles (FR) 40-1 (10-4) Tracked leaders, lost place 12th, soon behind, plugged on from last, never on terms, 7th of 12, 12 1/2l behind Gurkha Brave (11-1) at Carlisle 2m 4f hcp (3) gs in Oct.
Las Tunas (FR) 25-1 (11-1) Tracked front pair, blundered badly and lost place 13th, not recover and soon behind, tailed off, 5th of 6, dist behind So Satisfied (11-2) at Ayr 2m 4f hcp (4) gs in Oct.
Ardmillan (IRE) 7-4fav (11-12) Mid-division, headway into 2nd 5 out, improved to lead 2 out, soon ridden, strongly pressed inside final furlong, headed narrowly close home, 2nd of 9, nk behind Town Pond (10-9) at Downpatrick 2m 5f hcp Yielding in Mar.
Have You Had Yours (IRE) 25-1 (10-12) Led 1st until after 2nd, led 4th, headed before 5th, lost place 4 out, well beaten last, last of 7, dist behind Western Home (11-4) at Cartmel 2m 5f hcp (4) gs in Jul.