It’s no surprise to see Tomngerry back over hurdles as he hasn’t really taken to fences but he still looks a few pounds too high. Blottos looks a chasing type but has had the speed to win twice over timber at Sedgefield and makes his handicap debut. Slanelough defied to a big weight to get back to winning ways at Doncaster and Copper West could give that form a boost in the opener but we just prefer SAKHEE’S CITY. He was a decisive winner stepped up to this trip at Catterick and may be capable of defying a 7lb rise. Lord Ballim is from a yard with a good strike-rate here but he’s hard to fancy on this season’s form.
Tomngerry (IRE) 7-4 (10-10) Tracked leaders, closed 8th, went 2nd 9th until after 4 out, 3rd and beaten 3 out, soon weakened, last of 4, 26 1/2l behind Le Rocher (11-3) at Market Rasen 2m 5f (2) hvy in Jan.
Sakhee's City (FR) 11-2 (11-6) Tracked leader, slightly outpaced before 3 out, headway before 2 out, led last, kept on well, won at Catterick 2m 3f hcp (3) hvy in Jan beating Zeroeshadesofgrey (11-12) by 7l, 8 ran.
Slanelough (IRE) 5-1 (12-0) Mid-division, headway before 3 out, led before 2 out, ridden before last, kept on well, driven out towards finish, won at Doncaster 2m 3f hcp (4) sft in Jan beating Master Vintage (10-13) by 1l, 14 ran.
Lord Ballim (FR) 25-1 (11-10) Chased leaders, blundered 7th, jumped slowly 9th, weakened 4 out, pulled up before 2 out, at Sandown 2m 4f hcp (3) hvy in Jan.
Blottos (IRE) 11-8fav (11-10) Tracked leaders, led 3 out, not fluent and pressed 2 out, held on well run-in, won at Sedgefield 2m 4f (4) sft in Jan beating Aaron Lad (11-5) by 3l, 5 ran.