made all, ridden approaching 2 out, stayed on
chased winner, hit 5 out, soon pushed along, kept on from last
held up, headway approaching 3 out, ridden and weakened approaching last
held up and keen, weakened approaching 3 out
MASSASOIT is confidently nominated in this weaker company ahead of Picture In The Sky. Officially rated 147, Paul Nicholls gelding was perhaps a tad disappointing last time out at Newbury. This former Malcolm Jefferson inmate had previously been impressive when beating On Raglan Road at Aintree; the step up in trip should suit. Picture In The Sky receives 3lb from the selection and he looks a potential improver; he seemed to improve quite considerably for the longer distance last time out and should be happy rolling around in the mud today. Fabalu should appreciate the return to a longer trip and he is proven on testing ground, but the rest look to be making up the numbers. A fair race, with Massasoit taken to successfully concede weight all-round.
Fabalu (IRE) 10-1 (11-11) Led to 4th, chased leaders until weakened after 5 out, 4th of 16, 20l behind Tarablaze (11-11) at Haydock 2m 4f nov hdl (4) sft in Jan.
Picture In The Sky (IRE) 5-2 (11-6) In touch, not fluent 9th, led after 10th, ridden clear after 2 out, eased flat, won at Hereford 3m 2f mdn hdl (5) sft in Jan beating House Of Bourbon (11-6) by 12l, 8 ran.
Radmores Revenge 12-1 (11-3) Held up, ridden and headway 4 out, stayed on well to lead approaching last, all out, won at Chepstow 3m mdn hdl (5) hvy in Jan beating Mr Mackay (11-6) by a ns, 13 ran.
Enchanted Approach (IRE) 22-1 (10-7) Led, raced keenly, clear after 2nd until 5th, soon headed, weakened approaching 8th, tailed off when pulled up 3 out in race won by Dancingwithbubbles (11-0) at Ludlow 2m 5f mrs mdn hdl (4) sft in Jan, 14 ran.
Massasoit (IRE) 5-2 (11-7) Disputed lead, slight advantage 4 out, blundered badly and headed 3 out, weakened before next, not recover, 5th of 6, 34l behind Diamond Harry (11-7) at Newbury 2m 5f nov hdl Grd 1 (1) gs in Dec.
King Raven (IRE) 4-1 (10-9) Held up, in touch, chased winner over 3f out, under pressure and hung right over 1f out, weakened final furlong, 2nd of 10, 14l behind Pliny (10-7) at Towcester 2m nhf (5) gs in Dec.