tracked leaders, left in lead after 5 out, clear approaching 2 out
led until quickly pulled up after 5 out
always behind, weakened approaching 5 out
tracked leaders, weakened approaching 5 out
tracked leaders until weakened approaching 5 out
tracked leaders, left chasing winner after 5 out, no chance from 3 out
STROKESTOWN is a progressive individual and Donald McCain's gelding is taken to win again at the main expense of Quartz De Thaix and Duke Of Miskin. A son of the strong stayer Kayf Tara, this half-brother to a Supreme Novices' winner Indefense, is fancied to relish this strong test of stamina today. He stays well, has winning form on heavy ground on the point-to-point scene and can land this opener. Quartz De Thaix was a ready winner last time out on his British debut and although the form doesn't look exceptionally sound, it would be no surprise to see a big run from the penalised Venetia Williams inmate. Duke Of Miskin has an extra penalty today as he was the winner of a class three race in Chepstow. He is another son of Kayf Tara and he wasn't disgraced last time out in good company at Cheltenham. Cross Kennon is a former winning point-to-pointer who has not shown a lot in two starts over hurdles. The feeling is that he will improve once handicapped and racing over longer trips. Galaxy Rock represents a stable in top form, whilst Gershwinner is yet to 'strike up the band' in three racecourse appearances. At a price Roganstown could go well having run a big race on debut behind the well-fancied Son Of Flicka, but for the winner we will stick with Strokestown.
Quartz de Thaix (FR) 16-1 (11-5) Prominent, ridden to lead approaching 2 out, driven out and ran on well flat, won at Taunton 2m 1f nov hdl (4) gs in Jan beating Moves Goodenough (11-11) by 4l, 14 ran.
Strokestown 5-6fav (11-4) Jumped left 1st, tracked leaders, went 2nd 5th, led before 2 out, ridden and kept on flat, won at Sedgefield 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Jan beating Catch Bob (11-4) by 2 1/2l, 12 ran.
Cross Kennon (IRE) 20-1 (11-4) Took keen hold, mid-division, lost place 3rd, losing touch from next, tailed off, 9th of 10, well behind Neil Harvey (11-4) at Towcester 2m nh nov hdl (4) hvy in Jan.
Gershwinner (IRE) 66-1 (10-12) Towards rear, weakened from 6th, 6th of 10, well behind Your Amount (11-5) at Aintree 2m 4f nov hdl (4) gd in May.
Howzat Harry 250-1 (10-9) Held up, pushed along approaching 4 out, weakening when stumbled on bend approaching 3 out, 13th of 16, well behind Smoke And Mirrors (10-12) at Wetherby 2m nh nov hdl (4) gd in Nov.
Reindeer Dippin 80-1 (10-5) Held up, chased leaders, every chance approaching 2 out, weakened approaching last, 5th of 8, 27l behind Calin Royal (10-12) at Hexham 2m 4f nh mdn hdl (5) hvy in Nov.
Duke of Miskin 33-1 (11-7) Not fluent, chased leaders, pushed along and weakened before 3 out, last of 6, 36l behind Diamond Harry (11-7) at Newbury 2m 5f nov hdl Grd 1 (1) gs in Dec.
Galaxy Rock (IRE) 66-1 (10-5) Towards rear, headway approaching 7th, ridden 3 out, no further impression, 6th of 15, 24l behind Aqualung (10-12) at Ludlow 2m 5f nov hdl (4) sft in Jan.
Roganstown (IRE) 7-1 (10-12) Held up mid-division, weakened after 2 out, 5th of 15, 14l behind Son of Flicka (10-12) at Bangor 2m 1f nh nov hdl (4) sft in Dec.