KNIGHT IN DUBAI easily outpointed the odds-on Ballymoy at Bangor and should comfortably defy his penalty in this with a similar effort even though a switch to fences at Catterick clearly suited Schiehallion Munro. Vinnie The Hoddie didn’t get far at Kempton after a second at Wincanton but his stable is in good form and he could play a part receiving 6lb from the two previous winners if his confidence hasn’t taken a jolt. It would be a bigger shock if either Eskendash or Est Illic were to prove successful.
Knight In Dubai (IRE) 4-1 (11-2) Tracked leaders, went 2nd 7th, led next, clear last, stayed on well, won at Bangor-on-Dee 2m 4f (4) hvy in Nov beating Ballymoy (11-2) by 12l, 5 ran.
Schiehallion Munro 17-2 (11-2) Tracked leader, led 2 out, clear before last, in no danger after, easily, won at Catterick 2m 3f (4) gs in Nov beating Captain Moirette (11-2) by 6l, 5 ran.
Eskendash (USA) 40-1 (11-2) Held up in rear, headway when blundered badly 2 out, no danger after, 8th of 10, dist behind Deyrann de Carjac (11-7) at Huntingdon 2m 4f (3) gd in Nov.
Est Illic (IRE) 9-1 (11-11) Held up in rear, not fluent 2nd, jumped left 5th, never involved, 7th of 13, 27 3/4l behind No Getaway (11-12) at Hereford 2m 4f hcp (4) sft in Nov.
Vinnie The Hoddie (IRE) 6-1 (11-11) Held up, mistake and unseated rider 2nd, at Kempton 2m 2f hcp (3) gd in Nov.