raced keenly, held up towards rear, hit 8th, driven 3 out, chased leaders next, soon ridden and one pace, never on terms, weakened flat
tracked leaders, hit and lost place 4 out, weakened before 2 out, tailed off
led to 5th, tracked leader, lost place 3 out, weakened next, tailed off
pecked 2nd, held up behind, headway 4 out, tracked leaders on outside next, led 2 out, ridden and kept on well flat
tracked leaders, challenged after 3 out, ridden and one pace after next, kept on, no impression with front pair flat
with leader, led 5th, driven and headed after 3 out, weakened before last
held up in touch, headway on inside after 4 out, led after next, headed 2 out, ridden and kept on same pace from last
raced keenly, held up in touch, outpaced 2 out, never able to challenge
led in start, tracked leaders, outpaced after 2 out, ridden and no impression before last
EXITAS’ career has taken off since he opened his chase account at Stratford in September. He fell at Uttoxeter next time but has won at Kempton and Ascot since with his latest victory coming in a Listed handicap. James Bowen can only claim 5lb now but that still halves a 10lb rise in the weights and Phil Middleton’s charge is difficult to oppose in his current mood. Kapstadt has been left on the same mark as when running Darebin to half-a-length at Ludlow and is a big danger. Doitforthevillage should be approaching peak fitness after a couple of runs and holds last year’s winner Un Beau Roman on recent form around here. Bright New Dawn struggles to get his head in front nowadays, however, and Mick Thonic has also become expensive to follow.
Bright New Dawn (IRE) 33-1 (10-12) Fell 1st, at Aintree 2m 5f hcp (1) gd in Apr.
Shanahan's Turn (IRE) 16-1 (10-13) Prominent, on terms briefly from 3rd, lost place and no extra approaching 2 out, completely tailed off, 20th of 22, dist behind Lord Scoundrel (10-7) at Galway 2m 7f hcp (1) Yielding in Jul.
Festive Affair (IRE) 20-1 (11-4) Pressed leader, hit 4 out, lost place before next, weakened before 2 out, 7th of 10, dist behind Exitas (10-1) at Ascot 2m 1f hcp lst (1) gd in Nov.
Doitforthevillage (IRE) 20-1 (10-3) Behind, mistake 2nd, outpaced 3 out, stayed on into mid-division before last, never near leaders, 6th of 15, 20l behind Foxtail Hill (10-8) at Cheltenham 2m hcp (2) gd in Oct.
Exitas (IRE) 11-2 (10-1) Mid-division, tracked leaders after 7th, went 2nd approaching 2 out, ridden to lead between last 2, clear last, stayed on well, won at Ascot 2m 1f hcp lst (1) gd in Nov beating Quite By Chance (11-8) by 7l, 10 ran.
Mick Thonic (FR) 33-1 (11-10) Tracked leaders until blundered and rider lost iron 8th, not recover, pulled up before next, at Cheltenham 2m (2) gd in Oct.
Kapstadt (FR) 4-1 (11-3) In rear, soon in touch in 3rd, left 2nd from last, kept on and held towards finish, 2nd of 6, 1/2l behind Darebin (10-13) at Ludlow 2m hcp (3) gd in Oct.
Un Beau Roman (FR) 33-1 (10-0) Chased leaders to before 2 out, soon weakened, 13th of 15, dist behind Foxtail Hill (10-8) at Cheltenham 2m hcp (2) gd in Oct.
Rock On Rocky 8-1 (10-13) Tracked leaders, led 3rd, headed before 3 out, ridden and weakened before last, 7th of 8, 13 1/4l behind Archive (11-1) at Ayr 2m hcp (3) hvy in Nov.